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restoration of Cumberland gap 

and the wilderness road 

development concept plan 

interpretive prospectus 

environmental assessment 




CUMBERLAND GAP 



NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK • KENTUCKY / VIRGINIA / TENNESSEE 



development concept plan 

interpretive prospectus 
environmental assessment 



draft 
december 1989 



RESTORATION OF CUMBERLAND GAP AND THE WILDERNESS ROAD 
CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK • KENTUCKY/VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE 



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR / NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://archive.org/details/restorationofcum89wild 



SUMMARY 

This Development Concept Plan/Interpretive Prospectus/Environmental Assessment 
(hereafter referred to as DCP) amplifies recommendations regarding restoration of 
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, which were made in the 1979 Master Plan, and 
it serves as the intermediate step between the Master Plan and comprehensive design. 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established in 1 940 to set apart as a public 
park for the benefit and inspiration of the people certain lands, structures, and other 
property, including Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road passing through the Gap. 
This resource, made famous by pioneers such as Daniel Boone, is of national significance 
because it was one of the first passageways through the Appalachian Mountains used 
during the early years of westward expansion. 

Two of the management objectives for the park are to preserve as closely as possible the 
appearance of Cumberland Gap that existed at the turn of the 18th century, and to foster 
public understanding and appreciation of the park's historical and natural significance 
through various interpretive programs and facilities. The intent is to provide the opportunity 
for visitors to walk to the Gap along the Wilderness Road and to feel what it must have 
been like to cross the Gap during the pioneer days of 1780-1810; to see the landscape as 
it might have existed then; and to experience some of the thoughts and emotions of the 
pioneers crossing from civilization as they knew it into the unknown land and life that lay 
to the west. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner summed it up well in 1893 when he said, 
"Stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of civilization marching in single 
file — the buffalo following the trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur-trader and hunter, 
the cattle-raiser, the pioneer farmer— and the frontier has passed by." Interpretive waysides 
and visitor center exhibits will convey to visitors the importance of the Gap in the continuum 
of transportation - from the migration of large animals, especially buffaloes, which first 
established a trail, to the passage of people by way of horse and wagon, to the modern 
day use of motor vehicles. 

The major obstacle to accomplishing the stated objectives is the presence of U.S. Highway 
25E (US 25E) along the trace of the Wilderness Road and over the Gap, and the presence 
of other modern structures and utilities. Soon after the park was established, concern arose 
over the presence of US 25E and the other structures in the area because of the adverse 
impact they had on the historical integrity and setting of the primary resource for which the 
park was created - the Gap itself and the site of the Wilderness Road. Because of this 
concern, US 25E is currently being rerouted away from the Gap and through Cumberland 
Mountain to the south, so that the Gap and the Wilderness Road can be restored to their 
approximate historic setting during the 1780-1810 period. Completion of the work will 
enhance interpretation of Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road for generations of 
Americans today and in the future. 

This DCP presents alternatives for restoration, along with proposals for interpretation, visitor 
use and development, and associated impacts on the visitor experience and the 
environment. Three action alternatives are presented - complete, partial, and minimal 
revegetation. They all address proposals for restoration and revegetation of the Gap and 
Wilderness Road; management of Cudjo Caverns, a cave whose entrance is along US 25E 
within 1/2 mile of the Gap; and visitor parking and access to the Gap and Cudjo Caverns. 
The alternatives differ primarily in their degrees of restoration and provisions for visitor use 
and new facilities. A fourth alternative, no restoration, is also presented. Alternative 2, 
partial restoration, is the National Park Service's preferred alternative. 



in 



The public is invited to send their comments regarding the alternatives and proposals 
presented in this document to the superintendent of Cumberland Gap National Historical 
Park within 30 days upon receipt of the document. A postage-paid, self-addressed response 
form is located in the back of this document for that purpose. 



IV 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 1 



PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR THE STUDY 3 

VISITOR EXPERIENCE, INTERPRETIVE THEMES, AND MANAGEMENT 

OBJECTIVES 9 
RELEVANT ISSUES 12 



DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT 15 



LOCATION AND ACCESS 17 
HISTORICAL CONTEXT 18 
NATURAL RESOURCES 24 
VISITOR USE 36 



ALTERNATIVES 41 



INTRODUCTION 43 

ALTERNATIVE 1 : COMPLETE RESTORATION 44 

RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD 44 

REVEGETATION 53 

MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 56 

VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 58 
ALTERNATIVE 2: PARTIAL RESTORATION (PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE) 61 

RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD 61 

REVEGETATION 67 

MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 67 

VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 68 
ALTERNATIVE 3: MINIMAL RESTORATION 70 

RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD 70 

REVEGETATION 70 

MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 73 

VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 73 
ALTERNATIVE 4: NO RESTORATION 75 



INTERPRETIVE PROSPECTUS 77 

EXISTING INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 79 
PROPOSED INTERIM INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 82 
PROPOSED PERMANENT INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 84 
RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES 1 AND 2 84 
RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES 3 AND 4 96 



RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RELATED ISSUES 99 

RELOCATION OF UTILITY LINES AT OR NEAR THE GAP 101 

DISPOSITION OF CUDJO CAVERNS STORE AND CONCRETE RESERVOIR 103 

TRAIL PLAN FOR THE GAP AND VICINITY 104 

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FOUR-LANING OF US 58 112 

ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS AT HEADQUARTERS COMPLEX 113 

ACCESSIBILITY AT HEADQUARTERS VISITOR CENTER 114 



SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVES AND ESTIMATED COSTS 115 

SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVES 117 
ESTIMATED COSTS 121 
ADDITIONAL ANNUAL COSTS 129 



SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED STUDIES, PLANS, AND ACTIONS 131 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 135 

IMPACTS COMMON TO EACH ALTERNATIVE 137 
'.PACTS SPECIFIC TO EACH ALTERNATIVE 139 

ALTERNATIVE 1: COMPLETE RESTORATION 139 

ALTERNATIVE 2: PARTIAL RESTORATION (PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE) 140 

ALTERNATIVE 3: MINIMAL RESTORATION 141 

ALTERNATIVE 4: NO RESTORATION 142 
MITIGATING MEASURES 143 
COMPLIANCE STATUS 145 



APPENDIX/BIBLIOGRAPHY/PLANNING TEAM/RESPONSE FORM 151 

APPENDIX A: PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT 153 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 155 

PLANNING TEAM 157 

PUBLIC COMMENTS RESPONSE FORM 158 



VI 



MAPS 

Region and Vicinity 5 

View of Cumberland Gap 7 

Existing Conditions 19 

Existing Vegetation 29 

Alternative 1 - Proposed Development and Visitor Use Plan 45 

Typical Cut and Fill Sections 47 

Alternative 1 - Surface Restoration Plan 51 

Alternative 2 - Proposed Development and Visitor Use Plan 63 

Alternative 2 - Surface Restoration Plan 65 

Alternative 3 - Proposed Development and Visitor Use Plan 71 

Trail Plan 105 



TABLES 

1 : Estimated Cut and Fill - Alternative 1 53 
2: Estimated Cut and Fill - Alternative 2 62 
3: Gross Cost Estimates for Media Proposals 97 
4: New or Upgraded Trails 110 



VII 



INTRODUCTION 



PURPOSE OF AND NEED FOR THE STUDY 



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established by Congress on June 11, 1940 
(54 Stat. 262), "as a public park for the benefit and inspiration of the people, . . ." not to 
exceed 50,000 acres of "land, structures, and other property ... as necessary or desirable 
for national historical park purposes. . . ." 

The primary resource of the park is the Gap itself, through which passed the Wilderness 
Road to the west, made famous by pioneers such as Daniel Boone. The Gap possesses 
national significance because it was one of the first passageways through the Appalachian 
Mountains for westward expansion of the country. The Gap and associated Wilderness 
Road are located within the Cumberland Gap Historic District, which was listed on the 
National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today, a major north-south paved highway, 
U.S. 25E, passes over the Gap and along part of the Wilderness Road. 

Not long after the establishment of the park, concern developed over the presence of US 
25E in the Gap and the adverse impact it had on the historic setting. In 1954, Acting 
Director of the National Park Service E.T. Scoyen expressed the opinion of "restoration of 
the Gap to approximately its original topography with ... the present highway through the 
gap . . . removed from the scene . . . favor construction of a tunnel." Pressures to widen 
the highway prompted action, and a preliminary study by the Appalachian Regional 
Commission in 1973 presented various alternatives. Forced into the lead, the National Park 
Service in the 1 979 Master Plan stated, "The principal proposals of the plan are to relocate 
US 25E from the historic Gap to a better location and then to re-create a wilderness 
appearance at the Gap which prevailed during the heyday of the Wilderness Road." 
Highway Trust Fund monies became available in 1978 to reroute 25E through a twin-bore 



tunnel, making possible the restoration of the Gap. Construction for the rerouted US 25E 
is currently ongoing, and is expected to be completed in the mid-to-late 1990s. 

To date, no overall plan has been prepared to guide the many aspects related to 
restoration of the Gap and Wilderness Road. The project involves new road alignment, 
earthwork and revegetation, interchanges, parking areas, trails, new orientation, content, and 
exhibitry for the interpretive program, and a new look at appropriate visitor use and 
development. Therefore, a development concept plan/interpretive prospectus is needed to 
address these concerns. This document has been prepared to fulfill that need. 




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Region and Vicinity 



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Cumberland Gap Prior to 
U.S. 25E Tunnel and Road Construction 



VISITOR EXPERIENCE, INTERPRETIVE THEMES, AND MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES 

In keeping with the established purpose of the park and in recognition of its most significant 
resource, the vision of the park visitor's most important experience is that of being able to 
pass through the Gap as it appeared during the historic period of 1780-1810. Also, in 
recognition of the park's resources and to tell the story of Cumberland Gap to the visitor, 
the following two interpretive themes have been defined: 

The concept that Cumberland Gap represents a continuum of westward travel, 
transportation, and expansion; for most who came this way it was a "place of 
passing," although a few stayed and settled here. 

The concept that Cumberland Gap's geology and landscape is integrally 
interrelated with its prehistory and history; that its physical setting dictated its being 
a most traveled early passageway through the Appalachian Mountain barrier. 

Of the 17 long-term management objectives written for the park's 1986 Statement for 
Management, at least eight of them are directly related to the restoration of the Gap. Along 
with the vision of the visitor experience and the interpretive themes, these management 
objectives have guided the planning team in its efforts to formulate alternatives for visitor 
use and development. The eight management objectives are as follows: 

1. To preserve the cultural values of the park by protecting the 1796-1800 
appearance of Cumberland Gap and the historic resources at Civil War sites, the 
Hensley Settlement, and other sites. (The relevant historic period for this project 
has been expanded to 1780-1810, considered to be more representative of the 
period of heavy settler traffic through the Gap.) 






2. To manage cultural resources listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 
a manner consistent with historic preservation policies. 

3. To perpetuate the natural values of the park by protecting resources in natural 
zones from uses that would endanger or alter their natural values. 

4. To foster public understanding and appreciation of the park's historical and natural 
significance through varied interpretive programs and facilities such as living 
history, craft displays, self-guiding trails, and other interpretive devices. 

5. To reduce traffic and pedestrian congestion, as well as resource deterioration, by 
ensuring adequate public access to and circulation within the park. 

6. To ensure opportunities for outdoor recreation such as camping, hiking, picnicking, 
and other activities in appropriate settings that do not impair preservation of 
significant historic and natural resources, and to provide facilities essential for 
administration and park use in development zones. 

7. To cooperate with the Federal Highway Administration and State Highway 
Departments in the relocation of U.S. Highway 25E to restore and protect the 
historical appearance of Cumberland Gap in order to reduce traffic congestion. 

8. To work with other public agencies and private concerns to minimize the adverse 
effects on the park's resources, setting, and visitation due to strip mining, highway 
rights-of-way, utility lines, pollution, poaching, and other uses and developments. 

In addition, one mid-term objective applies to this document: 

10 






To promote public knowledge and understanding of the long-term values to be 
gained by the construction of new highway tunnels and restoration of the Gap 
within park boundaries. 



11 



RELEVANT ISSUES 

In order to provide the desired visitor experience at and near the Gap and along the 
Wilderness Road, there are a number of obstacles to overcome and some opportunities of 
which to take advantage. They represent the following primary issues relating to the project: 

Existing topography, lack of appropriate vegetation, and presence of modern 
development create a scene that is different than the historical appearance of the 
Gap and Wilderness Road of the 1780-1810 time frame. Essential to providing 
the desired visitor experience is restoring the Gap and Wilderness Road to an 
appearance that represents as closely as possible the scene that existed about 
1780-1810. 

Cudjo Caverns is a tourist attraction within the park boundary. Although vested in 
the United States, it is operated by nearby Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). The 
entrance to the cave is located less than 1/2 mile to the east of the Gap on US 
25E, and is of some historical and geological importance. How the cave is to be 
used and managed in the future must be decided. 

Pedestrian access to the Gap is currently inadequate. A single trail leads up from 
the town of Cumberland Gap. Parking at the trailhead is limited and is provided 
primarily for visits to the historic Iron Furnace on the site. Additional access is 
from the small parking area at the Tri-State Peak trailhead near the Gap on US 
25E on the Kentucky side. Parking here is also limited and primarily for the Tri- 
State Peak trail. To provide for the desired visitor experience at the Gap, 
additional pedestrian access and significantly more parking must be developed. 



12 



On-site interpretation of a restored Gap and Wilderness Road is currently 
nonexistent and was not addressed in the most recent Interpretive Prospectus 
(1971). In order to meet management objective 4 regarding interpretive programs 
and facilities, and to enhance the visitor's understanding and appreciation of the 
park's primary resource, a new interpretive prospectus is required. 

Numerous utility lines currently cross Cumberland Mountain at or near the Gap, 
serving as a visual presence of 20th-century society. If the Gap is to be restored 
to the historic scene of 1780-1810, the utility lines must be removed out of sight 
from the Gap and from viewpoints looking towards the Gap. 

A store and a concrete water reservoir are currently located east of the Gap along 
US 25E across from the entrance to Cudjo Caverns. As with the utility lines and 
US 25E itself, the store and the reservoir are modern-day structures that must be 
removed if the Gap and Wilderness Road are to be restored to a historic setting. 

Hiking trails in the vicinity of the Gap are currently inadequate and poorly 
connected. Restoration of the Gap and Wilderness Road would make possible a 
significant increase in day-use recreation opportunities. In order to meet 
management objectives 5 and 6, and to enhance the visitor's recreational 
experience, a trail plan for the restored Gap and Wilderness Road corridor must 
be completed to tie into the park's current trail system. 



13 



DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT 



LOCATION AND ACCESS 



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the nation's second largest historical park, is 
located on the tri-state boundaries of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The park contains 
20,271 acres, of which approximately 1,500 acres are within the scope of this project. The 
project area extends from the intersection of US 25E and US 58, near the town of 
Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, on the east side of the Gap, to park headquarters near 
Middlesboro, Kentucky, on the west side of the Gap. The project area lies in portions of 
Bell County, Kentucky; Claiborne County, Tennessee; and Lee County, Virginia. Although 
somewhat isolated from population centers such as Lexington, Kentucky, or Knoxville, 
Tennessee, the park is accessible by US 58 from the east, and by US 25E - an often- 
used connecting route between Interstate 75 west of the Gap and Interstates 40 and 81 
east of the Gap. It is at this place where a vivid understanding of the relationship of 
physical geography and history may be grasped and a continuum of transportation 
understood. 



17 



HISTORICAL CONTEXT 



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park contains historic Cumberland Gap - a natural gap, 
or low point, on Cumberland Mountain - and a segment of the historic Wilderness Road 
which crosses Cumberland Mountain through the Gap. Herein lies the national significance 
of the national historical park. The Gap and the Wilderness Road passing through it was 
the first feasible two-way passageway through the Appalachian Mountain barrier. 

The Wilderness Road served as the principal route from the colonies to the interior lands 
drained by the Ohio River. Prior to heavy commercial and settler traffic on the road 
between 1780 and 1810, the route was heavily used by migrating herds of buffalo and by 
several tribes of American Indians traveling between villages and hunting grounds. 
Commercial use, especially by drovers, came increasingly to the fore with the passage of 
the 19th century. 

During the 17th century, the American buffalo - after a 1,100-year hiatus - resumed a 
migratory pattern into the southeast portions of North America. Besides grazing areas, these 
pathmakers sought the numerous salt licks that dotted present Kentucky and Virginia, and 
in so doing beat out a well-defined trace. During the next two centuries travelers could 
follow such traces on roads extending from near Roanoke, Virginia, to central Illinois. 

The network of traces laid down by buffalo formed the basis of trails used by American 
Indians, and in time, frontiersmen and settlers. Foremost among Indian routes in the eastern 
United States was the Warriors Path, which looped southward through the Gap connecting 
the Ohio Valley and that of the Shenandoah and Potomac. Branches of the road also 
continued southeast to the Cherokee and Creek settlements. In short, the path laid down 

18 




Existing Conditions 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



Scale 



500 1000 



North 



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DSC I DEC 89 




Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



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by animals and native peoples was easily adapted by opportunists from the colonies on the 
Atlantic seaboard. 

Early travelers included Gabriel Arthur and Dr. Thomas Walker in the 17th and 18th 
centuries, respectively. Walker's account in 1750 gives us the first Anglo eyewitness 
description of Cumberland Gap, the entrance of the present Cudjo Caverns, the spring 
emanating from it, and the Indian road Walker followed. During the French and Indian War 
(1754-1763), exploration and travel temporarily halted, but in 1763 a group of long hunters 
led by Elisha Walden (Wallen) crossed into Kentucky through Cumberland Gap. Success 
of the hunt brought others to Kentucky, including Daniel Boone, the individual most 
identified with the Gap, who traversed it in 1769. 

Working for Judge Richard Henderson, Boone explored Kentucky for productive lands which 
returned profits to investors and marked the well-defined trail in 1775. Four years later the 
first of a still-continuing series of road improvements began; Virginia passed a law for 
building "a good waggon [sic] road through the great mountains." In 1780 the builders 
requested payment for the road over Cumberland Gap in a petition that stated that wagons 
had passed over it to the convenience of travelers. From then on, Virginia followed by 
Kentucky passed laws to improve the road over Cumberland Mountain. Commensurate with 
roadwork was the population boom in Kentucky: 73,000 in 1790 and 220,000 in 1800. 
Demand for improvements became a constant in order to facilitate settlers and commercial 
traffic. The route became the most direct and easiest from the lower Ohio Valley to 
Philadelphia until the opening of the Erie Canal and roads across the mid-Atlantic states 
during the third decade of the 19th century. 

After the heyday of settler usage (about 1810), east-west traffic tended to be much more 
commercial in orientation, particularly livestock droving from Kentucky into the southeastern 

21 



states. During the Civil War, 1861-1865, the Gap became a strategic location for both Union 
and Confederate troops, and many defensive positions and an attendant road network left 
an imprint on the landscape. 

During this century more modern road building techniques have left an imprint. An Object 
Lesson Road with macadamized surface replaced the old road in 1 908. Built by the Bureau 
of Public Roads (U.S. Department of Agriculture), the 2-1/2 miles demonstrated the efficacy 
of modern technology and all-weather surface for roads in the area. On the Kentucky side 
the alignment replaced the route of the Wilderness Road (Kentucky State Road) when the 
County Court abandoned the old road. The Object Lesson Road thus held its own place 
of historical importance in the story of the Gap. What had begun as a buffalo trace and 
Indian trail in due course became a pathway for explorers and land speculators, then a 
major route for settlers, travelers, and drovers, and an instrument for learning how to 
construct roads. Subsequently, present US 25E used much of the same alignment of the 
Wilderness Road, as modern day boosters proclaimed it to be the Dixie Highway from 
Detroit to Miami. 

Cumberland Mountain and the attendant gap through which the Wilderness Road passed 
retain many of the topographical features known to its earliest users. The Gap, the pinnacle, 
Tri-State Peak, and vegetative cover convey much of the historic scene for which the park 
was set aside. Watercourses remain basically the same, the most important of which is Gap 
Creek. It still emanates from Cudjo Caverns as recorded by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750. 
However, the first few yards of its course in daylight are now covered by road fill of US 
25 E. Nearly all structures associated with 20th-century development have been removed 
in the course of developing the park, and the landscape closely reflects that of the focal 
period 1780-1810. Of principal importance, sections of the historic road still exist in the 



22 



corridor on which this plan focuses. Several features remain from the Civil War, including 
historic roads and several fortifications. 

Nevertheless, heavy impact can be identified - the alignment of US 25E, a commercial 
store, a water reservoir, the modern community of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, and the 
Seaboard System Railroad. Road construction, mainly this century, has also caused 
considerable impact, most noticeably in the saddle of the Gap where large amounts of 
quarrying and leveling occurred. Elsewhere road cuts and fills (present and former), culverts, 
rock faces, and embankments intrude on the historic setting. 



23 



NATURAL RESOURCES 



INTRODUCTION 

The primary natural resources of concern relating to the restoration project are the 

topography and vegetative land cover. Significant alterations in terms of cut and fill and 

vegetation are proposed in order to restore the scene near the Gap to its approximate 
1780-1810 appearance. 



TOPOGRAPHY/GEOLOGY/SOILS 

Although 25E travels through a relatively narrow section of Cumberland Gap, in a broader 
sense Cumberland Gap is a large notch, approximately 500 feet deep, cut by former stream 
activity into the monocline ridge of Cumberland Mountain. At its eastern opening adjacent 
to the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, the Gap is approximately .6 mile wide and 
begins at an elevation of 1,300 feet. It rises to its narrowest point on the Virginia-Kentucky 
line to an elevation of 1,650 feet in about .3 mile. The Gap then drops and widens 
northwest into Kentucky to an elevation of 1 ,300 feet in about .8 mile. 

To the northeast of the gap, Cumberland Mountain rises to an elevation of 2,500 feet. 
Along its southern edge the mountain appears as a steep ridge. A prominent feature and 
popular destination, the Pinnacle is located at the summit of this ridge and affords visitors 
a view down the 1 ,200-foot vertical south face to the town of Cumberland Gap and a view 
of Middlesboro to the west. Cumberland Mountain slopes more gently to the northwest, 
ending in valleys 1,300 feet below. To the southwest of the gap, Cumberland Mountain 

24 



rises to a ridge at about 2,100 feet. The nearest prominent feature is Tri-State Peak, which 
marks the boundaries of Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. 

Traveling up to Cumberland Gap, along US 25E from the intersection with US 58, the 
alignment traverses the steep southern slope (35 to 45 degrees) of Cumberland Mountain. 
Rocky outcrops along these slopes exhibit the bedding predominant in the geology of the 
area. While the road traverses across primarily shales, an extensive outcrop of limestone 
is visible just above the road, running from the entrance to Cudjo Caverns to the saddle 
of the Gap. 

The soils in the area around the intersection of US 25E with US 58 on the east side of the 
Gap consist of the Jefferson class of stony fine sandy loam. These soils have numerous 
large sandstone rocks (3-10 inches) and are considered well-drained. Moving approximately 
500 feet west on US 25E the road alignment passes through the Montevallo shaly silt loam 
soils. These soils, derived from the shale substrate, are considered subject to high erosion 
due to their shallow depth (approximately 15 inches) and the steepness of slope. From this 
point to the saddle of the Gap the soils are defined as rough stony land comprised of 
limestone material with 35 to 90 percent of the surface being limestone outcrops. According 
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, the most feasible use of 
these soils is for forest. The SCS state soil scientist reports that there are no soils in the 
project study area that are classified as prime or unique farmlands. 

Near the intersection with US 58, at an elevation of 1 ,480 feet, US 25E crosses a series 
of cuts and fills for 1.1 miles to the Gap. Some of these fills exhibit signs of downslope 
movement. The largest cut and fill along this portion of the road is the area around the 
Cudjo Caverns store and cavern entrance. 



25 



In the saddle of the Gap, on the north side of the highway, is an abandoned quarry and 
large borrow pit. To the south lies a bench 10-15 feet above the road. To the northwest 
of the Gap and slightly downhill, the road crosses a level area, a portion of which is 
occupied by a Tri-State Peak trailhead. This area is at the head of an intermittent stream 
drainage. From this area the historic Kentucky State Road travels west past two abandoned 
borrow pits and contours around the southern edge of the drainage. The historic Object 
Lesson Road travels north and contours around the northern edge of the drainage until it 
reaches a relatively level area near the Skyland Road bridge. US 25E parallels the drainage 
through a cut, crosses the drainage on a fill, and contours around this level area on a 
series of cuts and fills. After passing under the Skyland Road bridge, US 25E parallels 
Davis Branch for .3 mile on cuts and fills to its intersection with the new US 25E alignment. 

Soils on the west side of the Gap are primarily of the Jefferson Variant, which are very 
stony and loamy soils, and are either below sandstone cliffs or with sandstone outcrops. 
Depth to bedrock, which is primarily sandstone, can range from a few inches to more than 
60 inches. The most feasible use is for forest. The last portion of the alignment, that which 
parallels Davis Branch, is through Pope sandy loam soils, which are well-drained and 
usually deeper than 60 inches. According to the Soil Conservation Service, these soils are 
fair for cropland and pasture use. 

Material that is being taken out of the new US 25E tunnels is comprised primarily of 
sandstone, shale, and limestone. Most of this material should be available for use as fill 
in the restoration of the Gap and Wilderness Road. 



26 



VEGETATION 

The vegetation in the vicinity of Cumberland Gap has been substantially affected since the 
time Daniel Boone and westward pioneers traversed the area ca. 1780-1810. Logging, to 
provide wood for the Iron Furnace, railroads, and most significantly, to clear the area during 
the Civil War, effectively denuded the Gap of all virgin stands of timber. Chestnut blight and 
continued human development has since influenced the vegetation around the Gap. Yet, 
the second-growth vegetation, though somewhat less mature, has come to represent 
approximately the same composition as that of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

The predominant trees and shrubs that currently exist along US 25E within the scope of 
this project are listed below. They fall within seven separate sections and are shown on the 
Existing Vegetation map. The variation in vegetation from section to section is caused by 
variations in soil and aspect. 

Section 1 - from the US 58-US 25E intersection west for approximately 500 feet: 
These stands are comprised of Virginia pine, yellow poplar, white oak, and a few white 
ash. Sassafras, blackberry, and rhododendron are common understory species. 

Section 2 - from the above point to just west of the Cudjo Caverns entrance: These 
stands are comprised of red oak, white oak, and yellow poplar with a few sycamore 
and buckeye. Grass, cinquefoil, mountain laurel, and blackberry are common understory 
species. Japanese kudzu, an exotic species, is common on the fill slopes and has 
proven to be a strong competitive species. 



27 



Section 3 - to the quarry near the saddle of the gap: Most of the vegetation in this 
section is to the south, or downhill, side of the highway; the north side consists 
primarily of a prominent limestone outcrop. Species include white oak, red oak, hickory, 
and white ash. Mountain laurel and serviceberry are common understory species. 

Section 4 - the saddle of the gap: The area has been heavily modified by man and 
is predominantly grass-covered open space. Nearby are Virginia pine, sycamore, and 
yellow poplar. Rhododendron is the most conspicuous understory species. 

Section 5 - just west of the Gap to the west intersection of US 25E and the historic 
Object Lesson Road: Dominant species include sycamore, yellow poplar, red maple, red 
oak, white oak, and chestnut oak. Virginia pine saplings, dogwood, rhododendron, and 
grasses dominate the understory. The historic Object Lesson Road has many Virginia 
pine saplings growing in it. 

Section 6 - to just east of the Skyland Road bridge: Sycamore, yellow poplar, and 
white oak dominate these stands. The understory is predominantly Virginia pine saplings 
and grasses. 

Section 7 - to the intersection with new US 25E: This area was heavily altered by a 
tornado in 1987, and now there are few mature trees. The dominant species include 
sycamore, yellow poplar, red maple, and white oak. Eastern redbud, dogwood, 
elderberry, as well as saplings of the above species, are common in the understory. 



28 




Existing Vegetation 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



500 1000 



North 



-T- 380 I 4601 *1 



DSC I DEC 89 




Existing Vegetation 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department ot the Interior / National Park Service 



North T 36 ° \460n 

500 1000 DSC I DEC 89 



WILDLIFE 

Larger mammals typical of the region, including foxes, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, 
squirrels, woodchucks, deer, and bobcats, range through most of the park. Black bears are 
occasionally seen. Among the larger birds found in the park are wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, 
turkey vultures, and several species of hawks and owls. Along the US 25E road corridor 
within the project area, the large volume of vehicular traffic is prohibitive to significant 
wildlife residence. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the presence of the threatened fish 
species blacksided dace (Phoxinus cumberlandensis) in the Davis Branch within the project 
area. Available information on reproduction and development suggests that silt-free nests 
are needed by this fish for maintaining a viable population. Thus, the danger to this species 
is due to possible siltation from nearby construction activities. 

The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and gray bat {Myotis grisescens), both listed as 
endangered, are present in the region. Indiana bats are known to hibernate in Cumberland 
Gap Saltpeter Cave - approximately 2 miles north of the project area - but which is 
connected to Cudjo Caverns. Threatened or endangered species are not known to inhabit 
Cudjo Caverns. The Eastern small-footed bat {Myotis subulatus leibii) and Rafinesque's big- 
eared bat {Plecotus rafinesquii) have also been identified in the region. Both species are 
listed as Category 2 species, which means that current information may indicate that a 
proposal to list the species as endangered or threatened is possibly appropriate; however, 
conclusive data on biological vulnerability or threat is not available to support the proposed 
rules. Other Category 2 species include the Appalachian Valley Cave amphipod {Crangonyx 
antennatus) and the Lee County Cave beetle (Pseudonophthalmus hirsutus), as listed in the 
Federal Register, 50 CFR 17 (FWS, USDI 1989). As indicated in Brimleyana, The Journal 

31 



of the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences (Holsinger and Culver 1988), other 
rare or sensitive species include the following: 

Cudjo Caverns 

Pseudoscorpion (Kleptochthonius lutzid) type locality 
Pseudoscorpion {Microcredgris valentinei) type locality 
Isopod (Trichonisus pusillus) 
Millipede {Pesudotremia valga) type locality 
Springtail (Pesudosinella hirsuta) 

Cumberland Gap Saltpeter Cave 

Millipede {Pseudotremia n. sp) undescribed species 
Amphipod (Bactrurus n. sp.) undescribed species 

Cliff Cave 

Amphipod (Stygobromus cumberlandus) 
Isopod (Caecidotea n. sp.) undescribed species 



CLIMATE 

The climate at Cumberland Gap is comparatively mild year-round, in spite of occasional 
snowfalls. This allows for a relatively comfortable visitor experience during all seasons. The 
average yearly temperature at Middlesboro, Kentucky (elevation 1,140 feet), is 59.9°F. The 
warmest month is July with an average temperature of 75.5°F, and the coldest is January 
with an average of 38.1°F. The average annual precipitation is 50 inches, which is well- 
distributed throughout the growing season. March is the wettest month averaging 5.20 

32 



inches of precipitation, and October is the driest with an average of 2.64 inches of 
precipitation. Three to six snows occur each year with normal accumulation of 3 to 6 inches 
for each storm. The snow causes temporary closure of the Skyland Road and the 
campground until they can be plowed. However, the only facilities permanently closed for 
the winter season - from the first of November through mid-to-late March - are the picnic 
areas at Sugar Run and in Virginia. The freeze-free period is approximately 180 days from 
mid-April to mid-October. 



HYDROLOGY 

Originating within Cudjo Caverns, Gap Creek flows under US 25E, through the western 
portion of the town of Cumberland Gap, through Tiprell, Tennessee, and on to the Powell 
River, approximately 10 miles to the south. Lincoln Memorial University retains the water 
rights to Gap Creek at the mouth of Cudjo Caverns and has a water collection system near 
the mouth of the cave. The water from this system is sold to the city of Cumberland Gap 
and is piped to the LMU campus in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU is also connected to the 
Arthur Shawanee Water District. The water quality of Gap Creek is good. Because of the 
uses of water in the creek for human consumption, it is essential to maintain a high quality 
of water. There are no sportfisheries in Gap Creek. 

Davis Branch, which flows into Yellow Creek on the east side of Middlesboro, Kentucky, 
drains a complete watershed entirely within the boundaries of the park. Davis Branch flows 
from north to south on the west side of the Gap, paralleling a portion of Kentucky State 
Highway 988 and approximately .3 mile of US 25E. Davis Branch provides a native critical 
habitat for the federally threatened blacksided dace. The water quality in Davis Branch is 



33 



good. Because of the presence of the blacksided dace, it is important that good water 
quality be maintained. 



CUDJO CAVERNS 

Cudjo Caverns is a limestone cave located along US 25E approximately halfway between 
the intersection with US 58 and the saddle of the Gap. Although Cudjo Caverns is vested 
in the United States, Lincoln Memorial University operates a commercial guide service for 
the cave under a deed reservation, and also collects the waters of Gap Creek that flow 
from the mouth of the cave for distribution to its campus at Harrogate, Tennessee, and to 
the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. 

Cudjo Caverns is part of an extensive cave network that also includes Cumberland Gap 
Saltpeter Cave and Cliff Cave. Therefore, any management action in Cudjo Caverns must 
take into account possible related impacts on these other two caves. 

Cudjo Caverns was initially two separate caves - the lower King Solomon's Cave and the 
upper Soldiers Cave. During the 1930s the original entrance to King Solomon's Cave was 
sealed and a new entrance was opened. In addition, a short tunnel was blasted out to 
connect it with Soldiers Cave. 

Although Cudjo Caverns has been explored approximately 2 miles, the full extent of the 
cave is unknown. Some mapping of the cave has been performed (Holsinger 1975); 
however, a more complete map describing all significant natural and cultural features and 
tying into proposed management actions is needed. 



34 



Currently, a guided tour of Cudjo Caverns begins at its entrance adjacent to US 25E. The 
tour, which costs $3.50 per adult and $1.50 per child aged 6-12 (group rate $2.50 per adult 
and $1.00 per child aged 6-12), lasts about one hour and is approximately 1,200 feet in 
length. In 1988 an estimated 35,000 people toured the cave. From the entrance the tour 
follows an asphalt path through several rooms to an overlook of Gap Creek. It is known 
that the creek flows for at least 1 mile through the cave. From this point the path ascends 
to a wooden staircase, which in turn leads to a higher, well-decorated level. From this level 
the blasted tunnel leads into the section that was Soldiers Cave. The most notable features 
on the tour are here - the Big Room (100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high) with 
a large stalagmite (10 feet in diameter by 45 feet high) known as the Pillar of Hercules. 
The path then leads to the entrance room of Soldiers Cave (and the exit for the tour). The 
exit is about 100 feet above the road and 350 feet southeast of the entrance. 

Besides the asphalt path and wooden staircase, other man-made features include numerous 
railings and support posts and an electric lighting system. There is also an abundance of 
litter along the tour route. In many places cave features, especially stalagmites and 
stalactites, have been damaged or removed. Some have been used in construction of the 
railings. Graffiti is prevalent on some features. Most of the features are covered with algae, 
a result of the artificial lighting that has been illuminated almost continuously. Many features 
are also covered with a black substance, the cause of which is unknown. The cave is 
inhabited by rodents, insects, and bats, but not by any threatened or endangered species. 



35 



VISITOR USE 



EXISTING PATTERNS AND PROFILES 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is an "itinerary park," as opposed to a "destination 
park," plus a local use park. Nearly three-fourths of all park visitors are on their way to or 
from some other destination. An additional one-fourth of park visitors are local residents 
who use the park primarily for day-use recreation, such as walking, hiking, jogging, 
picnicking, winter sledding, and bird-watching. The remaining visitors, estimated at less than 
1 percent, are destination visitors, staying in either the Wilderness Road Campground or 
backcountry campsites while they experience the park in depth. 

Total park visitation during the decade of the 1 980s has shown a net increase of over 50 
percent (from 487,000 in 1981 to 760,000 in 1988). Visitation peaked at 788,000 in 1986, 
but has decreased slightly in the past two years. The decrease may be due primarily to on- 
going highway construction. 

Visitation in 1988 to the five primary visitor use sites in the Wilderness Road corridor is 
shown below. 







Percent of Total 


Developed Area 


1988 Visitors 


1988 Visitors 


Headquarters Visitor Center 


102,000 


13% 


Pinnacle Summit* 


119,000 


16% 


Iron Furnace Area 


56,000 


7% 


Wilderness Road Campground" 


8,900 


1% 


Cudjo Caverns (currently owned 






and operated by Lincoln 






Memorial University) 


35,000 


5% 



* The Pinnacle parking area of 80 spaces frequently fills to capacity. 

** The Wilderness Road Campground has not been filled to capacity in recent memory. 

36 



Total park use has distinct seasonal variations, with heaviest visitation during the summer 
(40 percent), followed by fall (30 percent), spring (21 percent), and winter (9 percent). 

During the summer months, family groups are dominant, for both "through-traffic" and 
weekend local recreational use. 

During the fall, couples - often senior citizens - are predominant, with some continuing 
weekend recreational use by local family groups. 

The spring months bring a mixture of visitors to the park - local residents, school groups, 
and early vacationing families (many on spring break trips). 

The winter brings mostly local visitors. 

Two-thirds of all park visitors are adults (including senior citizens, who compose one-sixth 
of all visitors). 

Special populations, including the disabled, the non-English speaking, and minorities, 
constitute a small fraction of park visitation (1/2 of 1 percent for each of these three 
groups). 

Park visitation is predominantly regional in place of origin. Three-fourths of all park visitors 
are either local park neighbors (25 percent) or live within a two- to three-hour drive of the 
park (50 percent). 

Approximately 1 percent of all visitors participate in personal services interpretation offered 
by the park staff. 

37 



The above data suggest that park is primarily a day-use area with visits of relatively short 
duration, even though the opportunity exists for longer overnight stays. Recreation is of a 
relatively passive nature and is tied closely to automobile accessibility. Although information 
on repeat visitation is not available, the predominance of regional and local visitors suggests 
that repeat visits are numerous. 

Implications for future visitor use planning and development are that an increased variety 
of day-use pursuits would be welcomed, especially by return visitors. If accessibility to major 
visitor attractions, such as the Gap itself, by private automobile is removed, then alternative 
means of transportation should be made available for those unable to reach the destination 
on foot. This might be a relatively high percentage of visitors. 



ESTIMATED FUTURE VISITATION 

Federal Highway Administration officials have projected that traffic through the park on US 
25E will increase by 50 to 100 percent after the completion of the US 25E tunnels in the 
mid-to-late 1 990s. Whether or not total park visitation or visitation to primary visitor use sites 
increases by 50 to 100 percent remains to be seen. Based on 1981 and 1988 figures, 
total park visitation in 1995 could be approximately 1,033,000 visitors, and in 2010 - 20 
years from now - approximately 1,618,000 visitors. This would translate to 134,000 visitors 
to the Headquarters Visitor Center in 1995 and 210,000 visitors in 2010. 

Although visitation over the next 20 years would not likely continue to grow at the same 
rate it did from 1981 to 1988 - whatever method is used to calculate future visitation - it 
is clear that the total number of park visitors and the demand for day-use recreation will 
increase significantly. Furthermore, any increase in opportunity for recreation created by the 

38 






National Park Service will tend to further increase visitation. Support facilities for this 
increase must be provided accordingly. 

Critical to this study is the need to estimate the amount of parking necessary for visitor 
access to proposed day-use areas, including the Gap and the proposed trail network 
connected thereto and Cudjo Caverns. This is difficult to do since projections cannot be 
based on extensions of past and existing conditions. However, based on the above data, 
the expected popularity of day hikes to the Gap, the parking needs at other caves operated 
by the National Park Service, and the parking needs for the proposed visitor information 
center at the O'Dell House, it is estimated that a minimum of 200 new parking spaces will 
be needed when the new US 25E is opened and if all proposed development were to take 
place. 



39 



ALTERNATIVES 



INTRODUCTION 



The primary issue addressed in this document is the restoration of the Gap and the 
Wilderness Road. Restoration will begin after the relocated US 25E through the tunnels is 
opened to traffic, expected to occur in 1995 or soon thereafter. Four alternatives for the 
restoration are presented in this section. They are considered the determining alternatives, 
to which alternatives for most of the other issues are related. 

Throughout the following discussion, the term Gap refers to the cleared and heavily 
impacted saddle area on the Cumberland Mountain ridge through which passes US 25E. 
Historically, the Wilderness Road was an integral part of the Gap, and could be considered 
an extension of the Gap, connecting Kentucky on the west to Virginia and Tennessee on 
the east. 



43 



ALTERNATIVE 1: COMPLETE RESTORATION 



RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD (see Alternative 1 - Proposed 
Development and Visitor Use Plan) 

Under the complete restoration alternative, the Gap and its immediate surroundings (within 
a radius of approximately 500 feet) would be returned as nearly as possible, by a 
combination of earth moving (cut and fill) and revegetation, to the appearance and contours 
that existed in the 1780-1810 time frame. The vertical and horizontal trace of the 
Wilderness Road (i.e., its original location, both vertically and horizontally) would be restored 
as nearly as possible to the appearance, width, and profile it had during the same historic 
period. Orientation/interpretive wayside exhibits would need to clearly differentiate between 
the surviving segments of the original Wilderness Road and those segments created through 
these restoration activities. (See Typical Cut and Fill Sections illustration for the Gap and 
Wilderness Road.) Restoration would extend for 2 miles from the Kentucky side of the Gap 
to a point near the current intersection of US 25E and US 58 on the Virginia side of the 
Gap. 

The surface of the restored Wilderness Road would be 15 feet wide, and is intended to 
appear similar to the existing Wilderness Road on the Kentucky side. Relatively short 
sections on the Kentucky side would require restoration, especially from Indian Rock to the 
top of the ridge near the Tri-State Peak trailhead. The Virginia side of the Wilderness Road 
would require the most restoration. The surface must be able to support heavy foot traffic, 
emergency vehicles, and vehicles for the mobility impaired, yet it must appear like a 
backwoods, unpaved, and ungraveled country road. A suitable base, such as gravel, 
covered with a layer of topsoil and planted with native grasses, would be required. 

44 




Obliterate, Recontour, 
and Revegetate 

Notes : 

-Obliterate U.S. 25E, and Object Lesson Road. 
Restore Landscape to Historic Appearance. 



ALTERNATIVE ONE 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 

380 I j; 601.6 

DSC IDEC 89 




Obliterate, Recontour, 
and Revegetate 

Notes : 

-Obliterate U.S. 25E, and Object Lesson Road. 
Restore Landscape to Historic Appearance. 



ALTERNATIVE ONE 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 
360 I -+6Q&Q 
DSC I DEC 89 



Section Near Oar Gap 




Cut and Fill Sections 



DEC 89 



Section Near Cave 



Before 




Section Near Gap 




Before 




Typical Cut and Fill Sections 



380 
DSC 



DEC 89 



Occasional maintenance would be necessary to clear saplings and other vegetative growth. 
Visitors would be encouraged to walk along the entire 15-foot width to help keep the road 
clear, rather than confine themselves to a narrow footpath. Essentially, the Wilderness Road 
would be preserved through visitor use. 

US 25E and the Object Lesson Road would be obliterated from a point approximately one- 
half mile from the Gap on the Kentucky side, near the Skyland Road bridge over US 25E, 
to the intersection of US 25E and US 58 on the Virginia side of the Gap, for a total 
distance of 1-1/4 miles. Obliteration would include removal of pavement, guardrails, culverts, 
road fill, and any other evidence of road construction, and restoration of the landscape to 
its historic contours and appearance that existed prior to road construction. Disposal sites 
must be approved by the National Park Service. At the time of restoration the National 
Park Service would contact area highway departments to determine if the pavement could 
be used for recycling. Where US 25E and/or the Object Lesson Road coincide with the 
Wilderness Road, especially on the Virginia side of the Gap, the profile and elevation of the 
latter would prevail. 

On the Kentucky side of the Gap, US 25E and the Object Lesson Road diverge from the 
Wilderness Road a few hundred yards below the Gap. Following obliteration, the land would 
be returned to the contours that existed prior to road construction. On the Virginia side of 
the Gap, US 25E, the Object Lesson Road, and the Wilderness Road coincide for most of 
the distance in question. Preliminary investigations suggest that the historic surface of the 
Wilderness Road was approximately 15 feet wide and lays beneath the existing surface of 
US 25E by as much as 30 feet. The resultant fill over the entire length of the Wilderness 
Road would be removed and the restored area revegetated. 



49 



To more accurately determine the historical appearance of the Gap and the Wilderness 
Road, two special studies for complete restoration are needed to supplement the existing 
data base. The first is an archeological study to determine the width and the horizontal and 
vertical alignment of the historic roadbed of the Wilderness Road. Data would be obtained 
by collecting cores of earth or by trenching across the width of the present US 25E roadbed 
in locations from the Gap partially down the Kentucky side and nearly all the way down the 
Virginia side (key trenching locations include the Gap and in front of the entrance to Cudjo 
Caverns). This should be accomplished after the road is closed to traffic and the tunnel 
route is opened. 

A second study would guide design of the restoration of the saddle area of the Gap. Over 
the last 200 years, many changes have occurred there, especially in reducing the grades 
approaching the summit and widening it to accommodate commercial enterprises, including 
an earlier entrance to Skyland Road. A multidisciplinary effort is required to guide the 
design, including expertise in biology, engineering, geology, history, landscape architecture, 
and computer science. Interaction among representatives of these disciplines would 
generate the preliminary design for restoring that historic landscape, which is an integral 
part of the overall restoration of the Wilderness Road corridor in the park. 

The breakdown for estimated quantities of cut and fill for alternative 1 is shown in table 1 
(also see Alternative 1 - Surface Restoration Plan). 



50 




ALTERNATIVE ONE 



Surface Restoration Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



I I North T 

r\n innn 



500 1000 



380 I 4,00L 7- 

DSC I DEC 89 






-All Quantities are Estimates to 
Show the Level of Restoration 
for each Alternative. 





















J 

A- 66,000 Cubic Yards eft Fill Material- 



2 



. Town of Middtesboro 



\ 



18,0001 Cubic 



20oo 

Fill Material 



V 



V 



WILDERNESS ROAD- 



' 



\ 



-D\8j000 Cubic Yards ja f T i ll Malar ial 

TtTOOO Cubic Yards of Fill Material 



THE GAP — "$/$$Z%^^ — F_ 200,000 Cubic Yards of Cut Material 



i 









Tri- State Peak - 



S-\ 



a.OOt^BDic Yards of Fill Materia 



\ 









I 



1 






i 1 G- £ 

c 



L. 



\T 



% 



Town of Cumberland Gap 



<V 









VJrginia 
Tennessee 

f 
ALTERNATIVE ONE 

Surface Restoration Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 

Scale I I 1 No„h T 38 ° l 400 ^ 

500 1000 DSC I DEC 89 



Table 1: Estimated Cut and Fill - Alternative 1 



ip Key 


Location 


Cut (cu.yd.) 


Fill (cu.yd.) 


A 


US 25E, West of Gap 




66,000 


B 


US 25E, West of Gap 




18,000 


C 


US 25E & Object Lesson Road, 








Remove Culvert 


25,000 




D 


US 25E, Reclaim Indian Rock West of Gap 




8,000 


E 


Gap 




43,000 


F 


US 25E, East of Gap, Reclaim 








Wilderness Road 


200,000 




G 


US 25 E, East of Gap 




3,000 


H 


Virginia Side Parking 




6,000 


I 


Virginia Side Parking 




3,000 


J 


Reclaim US 58 Cut 




28.000 



225,000 



Net cut and fill for alternative 1 - 50,000 cubic yards of cut 



175,000 



REVEGETATION 

The goal of revegetation for alternative 1 is to have the restored Gap and Wilderness Road 
visually fit into the surrounding landscape, while being as representative as possible of the 
historical appearance ca. 1780-1810. For alternatives 1 and 2, revegetation would consist 
of species of grasses, shrubs, and trees that match in composition the surrounding 
vegetation that is expected to exist 20 years after planting, i.e., the year 2015. Although the 
revegetated species would probably vary somewhat from the historic species, the overall 
scene and experience of traveling along a backwoods road cut through the forest would be 
similar to that of the 1780-1810 time frame. 

Revegetation of the project area would make use of the Plant Materials Program 
administered by the National Park Service. This program formalized in early 1989 what has 
been for years an informal working arrangement with the Soil Conservation Service. The 



53 



purpose of the program is to aid parks in developing revegetation materials to produce 
specified floristic and historic landscapes. It employs the Plant Materials Program in the Soil 
Conservation Service to develop seed and transplants of grasses, shrubs and forbs, and 
tree stock from U.S. Forest Service Forest Experiment Stations for use in park revegetation 
projects. 

Participation In the program Is initiated by a request from the park superintendent through 
the regional director, to the technical advisor, NPS Plant Materials Program, located at the 
Denver Service Center. The technical advisor, working with a representative of the Soil 
Conservation Service, prepares a comprehensive revegetation plan that 

establishes action objectives for the revegetation effort (including a schedule) 

identifies the most appropriate species to use to achieve the stated goal, based 
on existing and historic vegetation (see "Description of the Environment" section 
and Hinkle 1975) 

locates sites to collect seed/plant material 

specifies how, when, and where seed/plant material will be collected 

specifies propagation techniques (including sites and responsible parties) 

defines site preparation requirements (e.g., type and quantities of soils) 

provides specifications for the planting and maintenance of the plant materials 
(including locations, densities, and tactics for minimizing exotic species and erosion) 

54 



Additionally, and perhaps more significantly, the technical advisor would supervise the 
implementation of the plan. This includes the collection and propagation of plant material 
and the delivery of the plant materials to the site by the scheduled deadline. 

Planting would begin at the time US 25E is scarified and/or obliterated, expected to occur 
in 1995, or shortly thereafter. Revegetation should be within 1 foot of the 15-foot-wide 
Wilderness Road. Plant material should be local stock of native species to try to eradicate 
or at least prevent the spread of exotic species such as Japanese kudzu. 

Recommendations for appropriate species to use deal primarily with canopy species (trees) 
because they have the most significance in terms of visual impact. However, native 
understory species, such as sassafras, holly, mountain laurel, rhododendron, blackberry, and 
dogwood, as well as native grasses would also play a vital role in providing ground cover 
during the initial revegetation. Recommended species are those listed in the discussion on 
vegetation in the "Description of the Environment" section. 

Under alternative 1 the historic Object Lesson Road on the Kentucky side would be 
obliterated. Further revegetation with species of sycamore, yellow poplar, red oak, and 
white oak would be needed. If the road was not used in any alternative, or if further 
obliteration was not carried out, no revegetation would be necessary. 

For the revegetation plan to be successful, up to 6 inches of topsoil would be required over 
a prepared growth medium of well-sorted material. The purpose of the growth medium 
would be to create a zone for the root systems to establish themselves. Excavated material 
from construction of the new US 25E, interchange, and tunnels should provide all the 
necessary fill requirements for the restoration alternatives, and would be suitable for use 
as the growth medium, on which the 6 inches of topsoil could be directly placed. 

55 



Net costs associated with revegetation under alternative 1 are shown below. Gross costs 
are shown in the cost "Summary of Alternatives and Estimated Costs" section. 

Topsoil (6 inches deep, 14,000 cubic yards) $168,000 

Revegetation plan and production of plant materials 50,000 

(seeds, shrubs, and tree stock) 

Planting and application of seed 24.000 

Total $242,000 

MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 

A number of actions would be taken at Cudjo Caverns regardless of which alternative was 
chosen, including alternative 4, the no restoration alternative. The National Park Service 
would acquire all interests in the cave from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), except for 
the water rights to Gap Creek, and would manage all future activities in the cave. Water 
rights to Gap Creek would remain with LMU. The water pipes emanating from the cave and 
culvert would be buried or covered so as not to be visible. The Park Service would remove 
trash, graffiti, organic building material, and the asphalt on the footpath. There is currently 
a black substance on cave features. It would be determined if it is occurring naturally, and 
if not, it would be removed to the greatest extent feasible. Algae, which has grown as a 
result of the artificial lighting, would also be removed. In keeping with historical use of the 
cave, no lighting would be provided, except the minimum necessary for emergencies and 
official use. A baseline inventory would be conducted to collect information on items such 
as air flow, geology, radon, the recharge area of the aquifer associated with the cave, and 
biological and cultural features that might be present, including information on the 
endangered Indiana bat. A complete map of the cave would be produced. Security gates 
would be provided at all cave entrances and exits. Cave gates should allow for free airflow 

56 



and movement of trogloxene (animal life forms that inhabit caves), but should prevent 
entrance by unauthorized persons. 

Regardless of which alternative was chosen, a cave management plan would be prepared 
to provide more specific guidelines for managing the resources and visitor use of the cave. 
The plan would be dependent on which alternative for visitor use was selected, and it would 
provide management with as much flexibility as possible in managing the cave. The plan 
would address all issues identified in this section and include a statement of problems and 
proposed actions to solve those problems. A complete map of the cave would also be 
included. 

For alternatives 1 and 2, Cudjo Caverns would remain open for public use. Existing 
footpaths and handrails would be improved for greater safety. Natural features that have 
been damaged by man's activity in the cave would be restored as much as is reasonable. 
Although the primary visitor experience would be recreational, visitor use for other purposes, 
such as gathering scientific data, would also be allowed but regulated. 

Personal services, such as guided tours, would be provided, and user fees would be 
charged. NPS management would determine which method to use for guided tours after a 
visitor use alternative was selected, and might relate to negotiations between the National 
Park Service and LMU. Options to be considered include a historic lease, a concessions 
operation, a cooperative venture, or use of NPS employees. 

Tour guides would discuss the interpretive theme concerning the historical relation of the 
cave to the Wilderness Road, including its discovery and the impact that its presence and 
the water flowing from it might have had on travelers. A carry-along audio device would be 
available to visitors for a slight fee. The wayside exhibit at the parking area below the cave 

57 



would describe the cave and its discovery by Dr. Walker. For those visitors who do not tour 
the cave, a programmatic audiovisual presentation would be presented in the O'Dell House. 
For alternative 1 , it is anticipated that handicap accessibility would not be provided due to 
expected extraordinary construction that would be required. For alternative 2, handicap 
accessibility would be provided for a reasonable distance into the cave. Attempting to 
provide handicap accessibility throughout the cave would alter the natural fabric of the cave 
and/or require man-made structures to an unacceptable extent. (See "Interpretive 
Prospectus" section for additional information regarding interpretation of the cave.) 

Caving unaccompanied by guides would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those 
conditions under which it would be permitted would be specified in the cave management 
plan. 

Specific to alternative 1, only that part of Cudjo Caverns that was used in the 1780-1810 
time frame would be open to the public. Access to and from the cave would be via the 
historic access at that time, if it could be determined with a high degree of certainty by 
means such as with the aid of an archeological study (previously discussed in this section), 
and a speleological investigation. If the historic access cannot be determined, the King 
Solomon's Cave entrance would be used for both the entrance and the exit. 



VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 

Public access to the Gap and Cudjo Caverns would be primarily via the restored Wilderness 
Road on both the Virginia and Kentucky sides of the Gap (see Alternative 1 - Proposed 
Development and Visitor Use Plan). In addition, visitors could reach the Gap via the trace 
of the Lower Virginia Road leading up from the Iron Furnace in the town of Cumberland 

58 



Gap. Access would be primarily by foot. However, a conveyance would be available on the 
Virginia side of the Gap for use by the mobility impaired. 

Public parking for access to the Gap would be provided on the Virginia side near the 
existing intersection of US 58 and US 25E. The conveyance for the mobility impaired would 
be staged here. Approximately 130 spaces would be provided in two adjacent parking areas 
for visitors to the Gap and Cudjo Caverns and to the proposed visitor contact station at the 
O'Dell House (described in the "Interpretive Prospectus" section of this document). 
Approximately 25 spaces would be double pull-through spaces for trailered and oversized 
vehicles and buses. This parking area would be in view from the Pinnacle Overlook, as is 
the existing intersection of US 58 and US 25E, which will be obliterated. Therefore, to 
soften the visual intrusion, traffic islands with large canopy trees should be incorporated into 
the design. 

Upon leaving the parking area en route to the Gap, the visitor would walk along a trail 
similar to the backwoods country Wilderness Road that existed at the time the pioneers 
crossed the Gap by walking through the woods. The experience would be more of a 
wilderness feeling as one approaches the Gap, and especially if one were to continue down 
the Wilderness Road on the Kentucky side. 

Public parking on the west side of the Gap would be provided just off Skyland Road at the 
existing staging area for the tunnel construction, a site known locally as the Schneider 
Packing Plant (Little Yellow Creek parking area). Ample space is available for 110 vehicles. 

From this parking area, hikers to the Gap and beyond would follow the existing trail 
paralleling the Skyland Road, to a point approximately 1,500 feet from the parking area. 
They'would then cross the Skyland Road and railroad tracks to join the Wilderness Road 

59 



leading to the Gap. Appropriate signing, crosswalk painting on Skyland Road, and an at- 
grade pedestrian crossing at the railroad tracks would be provided for safety. 

Two other trails besides the Wilderness Road and the Lower Virginia Road would also lead 
to the Gap, regardless of which alternative was chosen: (1) the trail from Tri-State Peak, 
which in turn connects to the Cumberland Trail; and (2) the Harlan Road, which connects 
to Skyland Road leading to the Pinnacle. 

Many visitors would probably want to hike in one direction from one point to another, 
without having to retrace their steps to return to their cars. A scheduled passenger van 
would allow this to occur. The van would operate among the following pick-up and drop- 
off points: the Headquarters Visitor Center, the Pinnacle, parking at the former Schneider 
Packing Plant site on the Kentucky side of the Gap, and the proposed parking area near 
the O'Dell House on the Virginia side of the Gap. This service would be appropriate for a 
concession operation. Therefore, a study would be performed to determine the feasibility 
of such a concession operation. 

One round-trip trail to the Gap that does not require a visitor to retrace steps might prove 
to be very popular. Originating at the proposed East Approach visitor information center 
(described in the "Interpretive Prospectus" section) near the parking area on the Virginia 
side of the Gap, the visitor would climb to Cudjo Caverns and the Gap via the Wilderness 
Road, descend into the town of Cumberland Gap via an existing trail along the trace of the 
Lower Virginia Road, visit the Iron Furnace site, walk leisurely through town, and return to 
the parking area via Colwyn Street and Cumberland Drive. For this to occur, the trail 
segment from the Iron Furnace to the parking area would need to be designated, and some 
trail or sidewalk construction would be required. 



60 



ALTERNATIVE 2: PARTIAL RESTORATION (PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE) 



RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD (see Alternative 2 - Proposed 
Development and Visitor Use Plan) 

Under the partial restoration alternative, the Gap and its surroundings would be restored 
to its relative appearance during the 1780-1810 time frame as described in alternative 1. 
The same study described in alternative 1 would be needed to determine the Gap's 
historical appearance. On the Kentucky side of the Gap, the Wilderness Road would be 
restored as in alternative 1 ; however, on the Virginia side, only the horizontal trace of the 
Wilderness Road would be restored to the 1780-1810 time frame. No attempt would be 
made to restore the vertical trace. The surface would be treated as in alternative 1. 

On the Kentucky side of the Gap, the Object Lesson Road would be partially restored to 
the era in which it was constructed, ca. 1908. However, the Object Lesson Road would not 
have a macadamized surface as it did in 1908. The extent of restoration would be from a 
point near the bridge where the Skyland Road crosses US 25E to its intersection with the 
Wilderness Road just below the Gap. Restoration would consist of clearing a path 15 feet 
wide, using the existing surface and ensuring that it would drain properly, and allowing the 
existing vegetation along the side of the road to mature naturally. The road would then be 
maintained for visitor use. US 25E would be obliterated. Thus, two traces would be restored 
on the Kentucky side of the Gap - the Wilderness Road and the Object Lesson Road - 
thereby representing two different historic periods. Interpretive signs would clearly 
differentiate between the two roads and periods for the visitor. In addition, as in alternative 
1, interpretive signs would differentiate between the surviving original sections of the 
Wilderness Road and the restored sections of the road. Restoration and visitor use of the 

61 



Object Lesson Road relates to previously stated management objectives 4, 5, and 6 (see 
"Visitor Experience, Interpretive Themes, and Management Objectives" section). 

On the Virginia side of the Gap, the surface of US 25E would be altered by removing the 
asphalt, guardrails, and any other man-made sign of modern road construction, in 
preparation for restoration of the 15-foot-wide horizontal trace of the Wilderness Road. 
Where the horizontal trace of US 25E is different from that of the Wilderness Road, US 25E 
would be obliterated where environmentally safe to do so and the land returned to its 
original contours with cut or fill and revegetated. Thus, on the Virginia side the trace of 
only the Wilderness Road would be restored, representing but one historic period. 

The breakdown for estimated quantities of cut and fill for alternative 2 is shown in table 
2 (also see Alternative 2 - Surface Restoration Plan). 



Table 2: Estimated Cut and Fill - Alternative 2 



Map Key Location Cut (cu.yd.) Fill (cu.yd.) 

A US 25E, West of Gap 66,000 

B US 25E, West of Gap 18,000 

C US 25E, Remove Culvert 20,000 

D US 25E, Reclaim Indian Rock, 

West of Gap 8,000 

E Gap 43,000 

F US 25E, East of Gap 15,000 

G US 25E, East of Gap 3,000 

H Virginia Side Parking 6,000 

I Virginia Side Parking 3,000 

J Reclaim US 58 Cut 28,000 



20,000 190,000 



Net cut and fill for alternative 2 - 170,000 cubic yards of fil 



62 



North "f 




Obliterate, Recontour, 
and Revegetate 



Notes : 

-Obliterate U.S. 25E and Restore Landscape 
to Historic Appearance 



ALTERNATIVE TWO 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 

_J80_J±00Z3 
DSC I DEC 89 



Kentucky 



North 1 




Lesson Road 

1908) 

Wilderness Road and 
Object Lesson Road 



Obliterate, Recontour, 
and Revegetate 



Notes : 

-Obliterate U.S. 25E and Restore Landscape 
to Historic Appearance 



ALTERNATIVE TWO 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department ol the Interior / National Park Service 
380 KPOZ S 
DSC I OEC 89 




ALTERNATIVE TWO 

Surface Restoration Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



500 1000 



North T* 



4062.1 



DEC 89 





-All Quantities are Estimates to 
Show the Level of Restoration 
for each Alternative. 












Town of Mtddlesboro 



CubiS Yards yf'Fill Material 



#7//c- 20,000 
jftfy /y6ub\c Yards of Cut Materia 

w 



N 

WILDERNESS K / ROAD 



L000 Cubic Yards 
of) Fill Material 






S 




THE GAP 

E- 43,000 Cubic Yards of Fill Materiat¥^Ky/, 7 7JI!a&w-- F- 15,000 




/ 



Trl-State Peak- 




\ 

H- 6.000 Cubic Yards of Fill MajrffTal \ 

JT \ 

I ^S p$ft_B0U2*i' v -» 



G - 3,000 apbiq-Tands of Fill Material 



■ ■C^&— T"e!o^ubic Yards of Fill Mate*/ 






/ 







;ubTJT-»aKls ffbHfl Material- 



T 




f 



Town of Cumberland Gap ^r/^ 



Virginia 
Tennessee 



ALTERNATIVE TWO 

Surface Restoration Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department ol the Interior / National Park Service 



*7fjf 



500 1000 



380 | 4Q6a4 
DSC I DEC 89 



REVEGETATION 

Revegetation would be similar to that described in alternative 1 , but to a slightly less extent 
due to not revegetating the Object Lesson Road. A revegetation plan would be produced 
through the technical advisor, NPS Plant Materials Program, in association with the Soil 
Conservation Service. The net costs associated with revegetation under alternative 2 are 
shown below. Gross costs are shown in the "Summary of Alternatives and Estimated Costs" 
section. 

Topsoil (6 inches deep, 12,000 cubic yards) $144,000 

Revegetation plan and production of plant materials 
(seeds, shrubs, and tree stock) 45,000 

Planting and application of seed 22.000 

Total $211,000 



MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 

Alternative 2 proposals for the management of Cudjo Caverns are the same as for 
alternative 1 with the following exception. Both Solomon's and Soldiers caves would 
continue to be open to public use. The current entrance to and exit from Cudjo Caverns 
would continue as the visitor entrance and exit. Handicap accessibility would be provided 
for a reasonable distance into the cave. Attempting to provide handicap accessibility 
throughout the cave would alter the natural fabric of the cave and would require man-made 
structures to an unacceptable extent. 



67 



VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 

Under alternative 2, visitor parking and access to the Gap and to Cudjo Caverns on the 
Virginia side of the Gap would be the same as for alternative 1. The 130-space parking 
area would provide access to the Gap via the partially restored Wilderness Road. Traffic 
islands with large canopy trees would be incorporated into the design to soften visual 
intrusion on the scene, as viewed from the Pinnacle Overlook above. 

Access to the Gap on the Kentucky side would be via the restored Object Lesson Road 
as well as the Wilderness Road. A new 80-space primary parking area would be 
constructed at the base of the restored Object Lesson Road near the existing Skyland Road 
bridge over US 25E. Overflow parking would be available at the site of the former 
Schneider Packing Plant. As in alternative 1, access to the Wilderness Road from this 
latter parking area would be via the existing Skyland Road trail. 

Upon leaving the two primary parking areas en route to the Gap, the visitor would walk 
along a corridor similar to the backwoods country Wilderness Road that existed at the time 
the pioneers crossed the Gap - walking through the woods. The feeling would be more of 
a wilderness feeling as one approaches the Gap, especially if one were to continue down 
the Wilderness Road on the Kentucky side. 

On the Kentucky side of the Gap, alternative 2 would provide for one of the most appealing 
round-trip hikes to the Gap, without retracing one's steps. Beginning at the trailhead at the 
new parking area near the Skyland Road bridge over 25E, the visitor would hike to the Gap 
via the Object Lesson Road, descend via the Wilderness Road, and return to the parking 
area via a new .8-mile trail through the woods over the railroad tunnel. An alternative return 
route would be to cross the railroad tracks and Skyland Road and connect to the existing 

68 



trail that parallels Skyland Road, or descend a steep embankment to the former US 25E, 
and follow the trace of US 25E (which would be obliterated when the tunnel opens) back 
to the parking area. 

As in alternative 1 , a conveyance would be available to carry the mobility impaired to the 
Gap from the parking area on the Virginia. Alternative 2 would also provide for a 
concession-operated passenger van, if it proved economically feasible. The van would stop 
at five sites: the Headquarters Visitor Center, the Pinnacle, the parking area at the former 
Schneider Packing Plant site, the new parking area at the base of the Object Lesson Road, 
and the parking area near the O'Dell House. 



69 



ALTERNATIVE 3: MINIMAL RESTORATION 



RESTORATION OF THE GAP AND WILDERNESS ROAD (see Alternative 3 - Proposed 
Development and Visitor Use Plan) 

This alternative constitutes the minimum requirements alternative. Under this alternative, the 
Gap would be restored to the 1780-1810 time frame as in alternatives 1 and 2, and a 
multidisciplinary study would be performed for this purpose. The asphalt pavement on US 
25E on both sides of the Gap would be removed and the bedding scarified. Guardrails and 
other visible man-made objects associated with road construction would be removed. 
Otherwise, there would be no further restoration of the Wilderness Road on either side of 
the Gap, nor of the Object Lesson Road on the Kentucky side. A total of 43,000 cubic 
yards of fill would be required for this alternative, all to be deposited at the Gap. No cuts 
would be taken for this alternative. 



REVEGETATION 

The road surface would be covered with topsoil and revegetated with native seed stock. 
The goal of revegetation under alternative 3 would be to cover the ground to prevent 
erosion and to allow natural revegetation to occur. Efforts would be made to control exotic 
species such as kudzu until native plants could become established. 

The net costs associated with revegetation under alternative 3 are shown below. Gross 
costs are shown in the "Summary of Alternatives and Estimated Costs" section. 



70 



North f* 




ALTERNATIVE THREE 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 

380 Hfl<3& 5" 
DSC I DEC 89 




ALTERNATIVE THREE 

Proposed Development 
and 
Visitor Use Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of Iht Interior / National Park Service 

380 \ *\Q0L S 
OSC I DEC 89 



Topsoil (6 inches deep, 8,000 cubic yards) $ 96,000 

Revegetation plan and production of seed 10,000 

Application of seed $ 5.000 

Total $111,000 



MANAGEMENT OF CUDJO CAVERNS 

Under alternative 3, Cudjo Caverns would be closed to the public, and all entrances would 
be blocked or gated shut. Access would be available for official use only. As in the previous 
alternatives, actions such as removing trash, organic building material, and asphalt 
pavement, conducting a baseline inventory to collect data on natural and cultural resources, 
and completing a cave management plan would be undertaken. 



VISITOR PARKING AND ACCESS TO THE GAP AND CUDJO CAVERNS 

The Wilderness Road on both sides of the Gap would be maintained for hiking and access 
to the Gap. On the Kentucky side, parking would be provided at the site of the former 
Schneider Packing Plant, but not at the bridge where Skyland Road crosses US 25E. 
Visitors would hike from the parking area along the existing trail and then cross Skyland 
Road and the railroad tracks to connect with the Wilderness Road and hike to the Gap. No 
new visitor parking would be constructed on the Virginia side of the Gap. However, the 
limited parking at the Iron Furnace would continue to be available. No conveyance to the 
Gap for the mobility impaired would be provided. 



73 



Under this alternative the visitor would feel the wilderness experience of walking through 
the woods much like the pioneers did, but only on the Wilderness Road on the Kentucky 
side of the Gap. On the Virginia side the experience would be walking along an ill-defined 
roadbed through a grassy, treeless pathway. 

If it proved to be economically feasible, a concession-operated passenger van would be 
provided, and would stop at four sites: the Headquarters Visitor Center, the Pinnacle, the 
parking area at the former Schneider Packing Plant site, and the Iron Furnace. 



74 



ALTERNATIVE 4: NO RESTORATION 



This alternative constitutes the no-action alternative. Under this alternative, there would be 
no Gap or Wilderness Road restoration, no removal of US 25E from the Gap, no 
revegetation, and no new provisions for visitor parking and access to the Gap. Cudjo 
Caverns would be closed to the public, and actions would be taken as described in 
alternative 3, including preparing a cave management plan. 

The planning team considered the alternative of no restoration, but rejected it primarily 
because it does not meet the intent of Public Law 93-87 dated August 13, 1973, which 
provides funds "to finance the cost of reconstruction and relocation of Route 25E through 
the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, including construction of a tunnel and the 
approaches thereto, so as to permit restoration of the Gap." In addition, it does not meet 
management objectives for restoration of the Gap and Wilderness Road. 



75 



INTERPRETIVE PROSPECTUS 



EXISTING INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 



Existing interpretive media in the park is largely confined to the Headquarters Visitor Center 
area and the Pinnacle summit with its access corridor. There is limited media development 
at the Tri-State Peak summit, the Wilderness Road Campground, and the historic Iron 
Furnace. 

The Headquarters Visitor Center currently offers most of the information/orientation and 
interpretive facilities and services available for park visitors. Yet only about 15 percent of 
all park visitors stop at this visitor center. 

The lower, or entrance, level of the visitor center contains the lobby with its information 
desk, cooperating association (Eastern National Park and Monument Association) sales 
facility, and video monitoring unit providing programmatic access to the park's interpretive 
movie. Restroom facilities are provided off an adjacent patio. 

Quality, site-specific interpretive literature available for sale to the visiting public is limited. 
It is often difficult to keep the reprint of William M. Luckett's monograph Cumberland Gap 
National Historical Park in print, and Robert Kincaid's The Wilderness Road is now out of 
print. 

The upper level, currently inaccessible to mobility impaired visitors, includes an exhibit 
room, an auditorium, and a lobby area, often used for traveling exhibits. The park 
interpretive staff presents two audiovisual programs on a regularly scheduled basis in the 
auditorium: 



79 



a 16 mm movie interpreting Cumberland Gap as both the key passageway through 
the Appalachian Mountain barrier - the first "way west" - and a continuing avenue 
of transportation, i.e., a place of passing. 

a 35 mm slide/sound program interpreting the remote Hensley Settlement 

The outdated, inadequate exhibit room contains nearly two dozen 30-year-old cases and 
flat panels and suffers from "book-on-the wall" syndrome and a dearth of original site- 
specific artifacts. The highlight of these exhibits is a finely crafted diorama of Daniel Boone 
and company marking and clearing the Wilderness Road, which is accompanied by an 
appropriate audio message. 

The overlook at the Pinnacle summit, reached via an access road beginning at the visitor 
center, offers park visitors their best panoramic view of the Cumberland Gap and its road 
system. Interpretive waysides are located along this road at 

the Civil War earthworks known as Fort McCook (about two-thirds of the way up), with 
a cannon tube on a replica carriage 

the Pinnacle summit overlook 

the Powell Valley overlook 

the Civil War earthworks known as Fort Lyon, with a cannon tube on replica carriage 
at the summit 



80 



Additionally, a bronze-sculptured mural with a most appropriate quote from historian 
Frederick Jackson Turner is attached to the exterior wall of the summit shelter. 

Three other locations within the Wilderness Road/Cumberland Gap corridor contain limited 
developed interpretive facilities as follows: 

a wayside exhibit interpreting the historic Iron Furnace at the edge of the town of 
Cumberland Gap 

a shelter with four information/interpretation waysides at the summit of Tri-State Peak 

two wooden routed interpretive signs along spur trails from the Tri-State Peak Trail, 
at the sites of the Civil War Powder Magazine and Fort Foote 

the amphitheater at the Wilderness Road Campground used to present evening 
interpretive campfire programs during the summer season 

All areas of the park lying northeast of the Cumberland Pass/Wilderness Road corridor area 
are beyond the scope of this document. Therefore, no media will be prescribed either for 
the Hensley Settlement or for the Sugar Run, Chadwell Gap, and Ewing trailheads. 



81 



PROPOSED INTERIM INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 



From the present time until construction of the US 25E tunnels is completed - about the 
year 1995 - some interim interpretive media developments will be necessary to help visitors 
understand and appreciate the need for such a seemingly drastic alteration of the park 
environment. 

In addition to personal presentations by park staff, three specific interim interpretive media 
developments are proposed - wayside exhibits, a site bulletin, and a videotape. 

A single wayside panel should be designed and produced for installation at up to three 
different high profile locations within the "Cumberland Gap corridor" - one at Tri-State Peak 
parking area and one at each end of Wilderness Road. If possible, each sign should be of 
standard NPS wayside design and materials to match recently installed waysides at the 
park. The text of the wayside should contrast the historic scene of the Cumberland Gap 
ca. 1780-1810 with that which the visitor sees today and relate the primary importance of 
the Gap to the first trans-Appalachian pioneers. The text should then tell how ongoing 
construction will allow restoration of this nationally important historic scene, while 
acknowledging that this construction may cause inconvenience and distractions for park 
visitors. Finally, it should invite them to come back and experience this special walk in 
history. Consideration should be given to using an existing graphic of the historic scene, 
such as Illustration #4.9 of Jere L. Krakow's Location of the Wilderness Road study. The 
following text is suggested for this wayside: 

Two hundred years ago, the road in front of you was the only practical route 
to and from the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. Here the Wilderness Road, 
generally only a minimally improved one-lane trace, threaded its way through a 
narrow, V-shaped notch called the Cumberland Gap. 

82 






Over the decades since, foot and horseback travel have given way to carts, 
then wagons, military artillery, buggies, and finally automobiles. With the improvement 
of transportation came major changes to the road - cuts, fills, widenings, 
straightenings, paving, utility lines, and buildings. Today a noisy, congested U.S. 
Highway 25E has replaced the more tranquil Wilderness Road of two centuries ago. 

Any further construction in the Gap to improve safety would completely destroy 
this priceless historic place. Even current highway use continues to slowly destroy its 
historical integrity. 

In the midst of the inconvenience of traffic delay, construction dust, and noise, 
your Federal Highway Trust Fund dollars are at work here building a pair of nearby 
tunnels for the safe rerouting of US 25E. After completion and opening of these 
tunnels in about 1995, we will remove these more recent improvements and restore 
Cumberland Gap to its more tranquil, historic scene. At that time, we invite you to 
return and step back into frontier history - to trek the old Wilderness Road much as 
did our earliest pioneers. 



The park interpretive staff should develop and publish a free folder, using the site bulletin 
format, providing an expanded version of the same story as that used for these interpretive 
waysides. 

The third media development - a videotape - has already been produced. It describes the 
ongoing auto tunnel/gap restoration project. It can be used by park management as an 
off-site communications "tool" while meeting with nearby park constituencies. It can also be 
placed downstairs in the Headquarters Visitor Center to be viewed by visitors. 

The use of tunnel construction/highway relocation moneys to fund each of those three 
media projects should be explored because each directly addresses the work being done 
by the Federal Highway Administration to carry out this construction project. 



83 



PROPOSED PERMANENT INTERPRETIVE MEDIA 



This section describes the specific recommendations of the interpretive prospectus, or 
"prescription for media," for the historic Wilderness Road corridor of Cumberland Gap 
National Historical Park, for the Headquarters Visitor Center, and for the proposed visitor 
contact station on the east side of the Gap. 



RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES 1 AND 2 

Wayside Exhibits 

A total of 13 or 14 wayside exhibits are proposed for the Wilderness Road corridor. Five 
of these waysides are upright trailhead orientation exhibits, six are standard easel 
interpretive exhibits, and the remaining two or three are upright interpretive exhibits to be 
located in a shelter in the actual saddle of Cumberland Gap. 

All wayside exhibits should be standard fiberglass embedment panels installed in NPS 
mounting frames and placed in locations and at heights suitable for mobility impaired 
visitors. Wayside exhibit planners need to know that the park has experienced an unusually 
high number of incidents of vandalism and graffiti on all existing waysides. Any mitigating 
actions that might be employed to help reverse this unacceptable behavior are encouraged. 



84 



The five proposed trailhead orientation waysides generally fall into the following two groups: 

Three exhibits providing orientation to the historic Wilderness Road trace would 
be located at the 

Headquarters Visitor Center trailhead 

East Approach Visitor Information Center (O'Dell House) trailhead and 
parking area (includes orientation to Cudjo Caverns) 

Little Yellow Creek parking area if alternative 1 or 3 was selected, or the 
trailhead at the proposed new Kentucky side parking area, if alternative 2 
was selected 

Two exhibits providing orientation to the backcountry trail system, including visitor 
use and safety information, would be located at the 

intersection of Pinnacle summit Loop Trail and Ridge Trail 

Skylight Caverns trailhead at Wilderness Road picnic area 

All three of the historic Wilderness Road trace trailhead orientation waysides would use a 
common map graphic, as would both of the backcountry trailhead orientation waysides. 



85 



The orientation waysides at the parking areas would need to alert visitors to the differences 
between the original surviving segments and the newly restored segments of the historic 
Wilderness Road. Other media, perhaps either a publication or identification signs, would 
likely be needed to identify actual original sections of the Wilderness Road in the Gap. 
Should alternative 2 be selected, the two orientation waysides at the approaches to the Gap 
would need to clearly differentiate between the historic 1780-1810 Wilderness Road and the 
1908 Object Lesson Road for visitors. 

The six proposed standard interpretive easel waysides, listed by location and subject, are 
as follows: 



Location 

Adjacent to Iron Furnace, near intersection 
of Iron Furnace entrance road and 
Pennlinn Avenue 

Along Gap Creek, north of Iron Furnace 



Powell Valley Overlook 

Pinnacle Overlook 
Pinnacle Overlook 



Upper Viewing Terrace, Headquarters 
Visitor Center 



Subject 

The Coming of Settlement and the 
development of the Town of Cumberland 
Gap 

Dr. Thomas Walker, and Discovery of the 
Gap and Cudjo Caverns 

Viewshed of Valley with Last of Historic 
Outposts and Story of Dangers of 
Traveling through the Gap 

Identification of Landmarks and Features 
in Viewshed 

Cumberland Gap and Its Key Location 
along the entire Wilderness Road 

Geology of the Mountains Flanking 
Cumberland Gap 



For the Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road wayside at Pinnacle Overlook, a map 
of the entire Wilderness Road from Watkins Ferry through the Great Valley and across 
Cumberland Gap into Boonesborough and central Kentucky should be displayed. The site- 



86 



specific 1893 Frederick Jackson Turner quote found on the exterior wall of the Pinnacle 
summit parking lot shelter is more appropriate from this viewpoint, and that is: 

Stand at Cumberland Gap and watch the procession of civilization marching in 
single file - the buffalo following the trail to the salt springs, the Indian, the fur- 
trader and hunter, the cattle raiser, the pioneer farmer - and the frontier has 
passed by. 

The group of two or three upright panels clustered within a shelter in the saddle of 
Cumberland Gap would interpret a continuum of historic travel through this landmark pass. 
It is suggested that wayside panels incorporate a series of line illustrations to depict the 
various key stages of the continuum of travel through the gap, specifically as follows: 

the Buffalo migration trail 

the Warriors Path 

the "Long Hunters" 

Pioneer families migrating on the Wilderness Road 

Two-way trail use to drive livestock to eastern and southern markets 

Civil War (probably artillery being hauled along the road) 



87 



Horse-and-buggy traffic on the Object Lesson Road 

Early automobile traffic on the Object Lesson Road 

This line art would also be used to interpret Cumberland Gap as a place of passing - a 
continuum of historic travel - in the East Approach visitor information center (O'Dell House). 

Like the wayside at Pinnacle Overlook, the panels should feature the previously stated 1893 
Frederick Jackson Turner quote about Cumberland Gap. This shelter needs to be 
sensitively designed to blend into the cultural landscape. 



Interpretive Handbook 

An official NPS interpretive handbook for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park should 
be produced. It would feature the two interpretive themes set forth earlier in this document: 
(1) the Gap is a continuum of westward travel and transportation, and (2) its geology and 
landscape is integrally interrelated with its prehistory and history. The "in-depth" section of 
the handbook might well be based on Jere L. Krakow's Location of the Wilderness Road 
study. 

Publication of this official NPS handbook will fill the major interpretive need for a quality, 
site-specific publication about Cumberland Gap. 



88 



Headquarters Visitor Center 

The proposal calls for a complete replacement of the exhibits in the main exhibit room and 
a new orientation exhibit in the main lobby. Both actions are part of an approved "Major 
Media Rehabilitation Proposal" (June 1981). However, costs have been updated. In addition, 
some new exhibits for the upper lobby, which now displays flags and sometimes traveling 
exhibits, are proposed. 

Museum exhibitry in the main exhibit room should complement the film. While the relatively 
new interpretive film deals with major events and larger issues (i.e., Westward Expansion), 
the exhibits should focus on people involved - both the many who passed through and the 
lesser numbers who stayed - by presenting 

how the physical setting influenced them 

their tools and belongings 

the problems they faced 

how they lived 

why they traveled through or why they stayed. 

The exhibitry should focus on three specific groups of people: 

the first people - emphasis on native American culture 



89 



the many who passed through - emphasis on pioneering and Civil War soldiers 

those who remained - emphasis on early settlers in the tri-state area. 

The park has a limited collection of artifacts to draw upon in planning and developing 
museum exhibitry because much of the park's collection is related only to the remote, 
pioneer Hensley Settlement. Therefore, object acquisitions would be necessary. 

The new orientation exhibit would be designed to complement the other functions fulfilled 
by the spacious main visitor center lobby - information/orientation, cooperating association 
sales, issuing backcountry permits, and a video monitoring system providing programmatic 
access to the park movie for the mobility impaired. Its purpose would be to provide quick 
visual reference on what resources, activities, and development exist for visitor use in the 
park. Visitors using this exhibit should learn the following: 

The Gap represents a continuum of westward travel, transportation, and expansion. 

The park has developed historic and nature hiking trails. 

The park is rich in scenic values. 

Camping and picnicking are available. 

Places related to the Civil War exist in the park. 

A pioneer settlement (Hensley) exists on a remote mountaintop. 



90 



The park has abundant wildlife. 

Ranger (interpreter) conducted activities are available. 

New exhibits planned and installed in the upper lobby would complement those in the main 
lobby. One exhibit would use a location map and color photographs to orient park visitors 
to other early westward expansion historic places, including George Rogers Clark National 
Historical Park, Indiana; Abingdon, Virginia; Warriors Path State Park, Tennessee; and 
Thomas Walker, Boonesborough, and Wilderness Road state parks in Kentucky. A second 
exhibit would require that one of the three pairs of double doors leading to the upper 
viewing terrace be converted to a viewing window. The window combined with an exhibit 
label would focus the visitor's attention on at least part of the actual Cumberland Gap and 
invite them to experience the park's key historic feature - the Gap and the Wilderness 
Road - either by hiking the historic trace or viewing the scene from Pinnacle Overlook. 

An outdoor exhibit of large geologic specimens would be planned for and installed on the 
upper viewing terrace or patio of the visitor center. Specimens for this exhibit would be 
retrieved from the test bore or actual tunnel excavation for the rerouting of US 25E. The 
exhibit would include one large specimen from each of the different rock strata of the tunnel 
cut. A wayside exhibit would also be installed on the terrace to interpret the geology of the 
mountains flanking the Gap. Identification labels for each of the individual specimens, made 
of the same fiberglass embedment as the wayside exhibit, would be needed. Arrangement 
of the specimens in the order of their occurrence in the tunnel cut might well prove to be 
logical and useful. 



91 



East Approach Visitor Information Center (O'Dell House) 

To remedy a major deficiency, a new visitor information center is proposed to serve visitors 
approaching the park along US 58 from the east through Virginia and along US 25E from 
the southeast through Tennessee. The facility would provide visitor information, orientation, 
and basic theme-setting interpretation for all westbound visitors to Cumberland Gap National 
Historical Park, and for those people traveling along the east side of Cumberland Mountain 
who might not otherwise visit the Headquarters Visitor Center in Kentucky. 

The current park residence known as the O'Dell House, located just west of the intersection 
of US 58 and US 25E, should be adaptively used to serve these visitor needs. (See 
"Compliance Status" section of this document for information regarding the historical 
significance of the O'Dell House.) To facilitate access for the mobility impaired, only first- 
floor rooms would be used by visitors. The second floor would be used for offices and 
storage. The appropriate use of the space would be left to the exhibit planner and the 
exhibit designer. However, it seems most likely that the front four rooms (the living room, 
dining room, front bedroom, and middle bedroom) would be used. Opening a doorway or 
archway between the two bedrooms might well facilitate the best traffic flow pattern for 
adaptive use of this house as a visitor information center. 

The newly developed visitor center should contain the following: 

a small lobby with an information desk 

a cooperating association (Eastern National Park and Monument Association) 
publications display and sales area 



92 



an interpretive exhibit area, primarily interpreting the significance of the Gap as the 
first national gateway west, and secondarily introducing Cudjo Caverns 

a video viewing area (with an informal, perhaps movable, seating area) to help 
interpret the national significance of the Gap 

some type of a nook for programmatic interpretive access to Cudjo Caverns and the 
saddle of Cumberland Gap for the mobility impaired 

restroom facilities in or adjacent to the center 

The lobby/information desk area should contain some type of a map or graphic of the entire 
park area for use as an orientation tool by interpretive staff. These orientation materials 
should especially encourage visitors to experience the Cumberland Gap, Cudjo Caverns, 
and the historic Wilderness Road trace firsthand. 

The programmatic access nook providing an alternative interpretive experience for the 
mobility impaired would probably best be located in or near the lobby. The nook should be 
equipped with an audioviewer. 

The interpretive focus of the exhibit area should specifically be the significance of the 
Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road as the initial "gateway to the West" and an 
avenue of travel and transportation from prehistoric times to the present. These exhibits 
should include presentation of a videodisc conversion of the current visitor center 
interpretive movie. The video monitoring unit, with its informal seating area for 8 to 12 
visitors, should be integrated into the exhibit design. Copies of the art sketches used in the 
wayside exhibit panels at the saddle of the Gap should also be incorporated in these 

93 



exhibits as a graphic statement of the important cavalcade of centuries of travel through the 
Cumberland Gap. The Daniel Boone/Wildemess Road diorama, currently in the existing 
visitor center exhibit room (easily its best feature), should be included as an integral part 
of these exhibits. 

This facility should also include an exhibit on Cudjo Caverns that (1) calls visitors' attention 
to its existence in the park, (2) briefly interprets the formation and human use history of the 
cave, and (3) invites visitors to tour the cave. All aspects of the cave exhibit, including size, 
location, and design, should combine to present it as a secondary interpretive subject. The 
use of a brief audiovisual, such as a videodisc program, to present this topic was 
considered. However, doing so might tend to convey a sense of equal importance of the 
cave to the park's primary interpretive theme - the first gateway to westward settlement. 
Therefore, the idea was discarded. 

The facility should provide some means of presenting information about regional attractions 
and points of interest, emphasizing other historic places sharing the common theme of early 
westward expansion and other nonprofit visitor attractions, including George Rogers Clark 
National Historical Park, Indiana; Abingdon, Virginia; Warriors Path State Park, Tennessee; 
and Thomas Walker, Boonesborough, and Wilderness Road state parks in Kentucky. It 
should also emphasize the primary nonprofit visitor attraction in this vicinity - Lincoln 
Memorial University, with its Lincoln Museum and its common roots, ties, and association 
with the history of travel through Cumberland Gap. These prime regional attractions might 
best be interpreted using a locator map and perhaps some appropriate individual site 
graphics. Regional commercial attractions and points of interest would probably best be 
handled by providing a folder distribution rack of compatible design with the other exhibits. 



94 



Cudjo Caverns 

The interpretive themes to be conveyed to park visitors touring Cudjo Caverns are twofold: 
(1) geographic determinism, i.e., physical landforms influence where and sometimes when 
events of history take place, and (2) the dynamics of a natural cave system. In developing 
the first of these two themes, interpretive treatment should particularly focus on the 
historical event of Dr. Thomas Walker's observation of the caverns and the role that water 
from the cave has played in developing and sustaining the town of Cumberland Gap and 
Lincoln Memorial University - i.e., heating and cooling one of the LMU dorms and providing 
the major water supply for both the university and the town. Interpretive treatment 
addressing the second theme should concentrate on the dynamics of the living cave, 
particularly its demonstrated ability to recover from previous damage and destruction of 
individual cave features. The reestablishment of the cave feature known as "soda straws" 
in places where they were once vandalized is a fine example of this natural recovery. 

Alternatives 1 and 2 specify interpretation by conducted tours. Since the interpretation of 
Cudjo Caverns is a secondary theme for the park, and a regular schedule of conducted 
tours for the caverns would be personal services intensive, great care must be exercised 
to avoid a situation where the secondary interpretive subject draws the "lion's share" of the 
park's available interpretive staff. For this reason, management will consider alternatives to 
using park staff as tour guides, such as a historic lease, a concessions operation, or a 
cooperative venture. 



95 



RESTORATION ALTERNATIVES 3 AND 4 

Under alternative 3 (the minimal restoration alternative), no new interpretive media would 
be planned and produced, except for two simple trailhead signs and two approved projects 
scheduled for the Headquarters Visitor Center. Both are part of an approved Major Media 
Rehabilitation Proposal (June 1981). The two signs, one located at the beginning of the 
Wilderness Road near the O'Dell House on the Virginia side and the other at the Schneider 
Packing Plant site on the Kentucky side, would simply identify the trailhead access to the 
Gap via the historic Wilderness Road trail. The first of the two approved major rehab 
projects involves installing a park orientation exhibit in the main visitor center lobby; the 
other involves the complete replacement of exhibits in the main exhibit room. Public law 
also requires physical alterations be made to provide direct public access to the upper 
level of the visitor center for the mobility impaired. 

Under alternative 4 (the no restoration alternative), no new interpretive media would be 
planned and produced. 

Alternatives 3 and 4 would fail to take advantage of a timely opportunity for initial on-site 
interpretation of the park's primary cultural resource - the actual historic Cumberland Gap 
and the old trace of the Wilderness Road that threads its way through it. Additionally, they 
would fail to provide for a much-needed visitor information/orientation facility on the 
Virginia/Tennessee side of the Gap. They would also deny continuing public access to and 
interpretation of Cudjo Caverns. 



96 



Table 3: Gross Cost Estimates for Media Proposals 



Media Proposal Plan Produce Equipment Total 

Plan/produce/install three interim $ 2,000 $ 8,000 None $ 10,000 

wayside exhibits, each of identical 
layout, to interpret the tunnel 
construction/gap restoration activity 

Plan/produce/install system of 13-14 22,000 83,000 None 105,000 

wayside exhibits throughout the 

Wilderness Road corridor (5 trailhead 

orientation panels; 8-9 interpretive 

panels) 

Write/design/publish official NPS 50,000 30,000 None 80,000 

interpretive handbook for Cumberland 
Gap National Historical Park 

Plan/produce/install new exhibits in 112,000 338,000 35,000 485,000 

main exhibit room of Headquarters 
Visitor Center 

Plan/produce/install new exhibits in 5,000 45,000 None 50,000 

lower and upper lobbies of Headquarters 
Visitor Center 

Plan/produce/install integrated plan 38,000 178,000 None 216,000 

for exhibits, cabinetry for video- 
disc, information desk, and 
association sales facility in 
East Approach visitor information 
center (O'Dell House) 

Convert current 15 min. headquarters None 6,000 12,000 18,000 

visitor center interpretive movie to 

videodisc, caption for the hearing 

impaired and install in East Approach 

visitor information center (O'Dell 

House) 

Plan/produce/install 8-10 min. slide/ 6,000 12,000 1,000 19,000 

sound program for audioviewer unit, 
to provide programmatic access to 
Cudjo Caverns in East Approach visitor 
information center 



Total $235,000 $700,000 $ 48,000 $983,000 



97 



RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RELATED ISSUES 



RELOCATION OF UTILITY LINES AT OR NEAR THE GAP 



Currently, four utility lines cross Cumberland Mountain on poles or towers in the vicinity of 
Cumberland Gap. Regardless of which action alternative (1, 2, or 3) was chosen for the 
Gap and Wilderness Road, these lines will be removed, relocated, or placed underground 
so that they will not be visible to Gap visitors, and will not intrude on the restored (historic) 
scene. The National Park Service will negotiate with the utility owners to determine the 
necessary course of action. Costs, to be borne by the Park Service, will be determined at 
that time. An archeologicaJ study will examine the proposed routes prior to ground breaking, 
and appropriate mitigating measures, including recording and avoidance, will be taken for 
all significant sites. 

1. A 69,000-volt high power line operated by the Kentucky Utilities Company crosses 
Cumberland Mountain at the point where the boundaries of Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and Virginia intersect, known as Tri-State Peak. This power line will be relocated out 
of sight of the Gap. The National Park Service is funding an environmental impact 
statement that will address the various alternatives being considered for this 
relocation. Among the alternatives being considered are to relocate the line to the 
south, outside the park boundary, or to thread the line through one of the tunnels 
being constructed for US 25E. 

2. A 7,200-volt power line owned by the Kentucky Utilities Company crosses the Gap 
into Virginia, providing power for Cudjo Caverns, the store, the LMU water systems 
at the reservoir, the O'Dell House, and the caution light at the intersection of US 58 
and US 25E. This line could be relocated underground along the trace of US 25E 
when it is scarified or obliterated. A branch line from the 7,200-volt line crosses US 

101 



25E on poles near the Gap and leads to the comfort station at the Pinnacle, 
providing power for the well pump, radio repeater, and comfort station - all owned 
by the Park Service. This relatively low-voltage line would be placed underground. 

3. A telephone line owned by South Central currently crosses the Gap on some of the 
poles owned by Kentucky Utilities Company. The line could be placed underground 
with the 7,200-volt power line along the trace of US 25E. 

4. A low-voltage communication line (60 milliamps, 160 volt D.C.) owned by CSX 
Railroad crosses the Gap on poles from one end of the railroad tunnel to the other. 
The line is connected to the railroad's radio repeater, which is located on a tower 
in the Gap. An electric power line also connects to the radio repeater from the 
Kentucky Utilities Company 7,200-volt line. The radio repeater could be relocated 
and the lines placed underground so that neither would be visible to Gap visitors or 
Wilderness Road hikers. 



102 



DISPOSITION OF CUDJO CAVERNS STORE AND CONCRETE RESERVOIR 



For the three action alternatives, the Cudjo Caverns Store and the concrete reservoir will 
be removed from the setting alongside the Wilderness Road on the Virginia side of the 
summit. Both structures are owned by Lincoln Memorial University, and the National Park 
Service is currently negotiating with LMU to determine compensation for removal of the two 
structures. The agreement is expected to allow LMU to retain water rights to Gap Creek 
as it exits Cudjo Caverns. The agreement will also specify the logistical and engineering 
requirements needed and allowed for LMU to continue using Gap Creek as its primary 
source for potable water. Pipelines and other utilities will be covered so as to be out of the 
view of visitors. It is expected that the agreement will not allow the store to be relocated 
within the park boundary. The above actions are expected to be completed before work is 
begun on the scarification or obliteration of US 25E over the Gap, expected to occur in 
1995 or shortly thereafter. The details of the negations and agreement are beyond the 
scope of this Development Concept Plan. 



103 



TRAIL PLAN FOR THE GAP AND VICINITY 



The trail plan described below is valid for all three restoration alternatives unless otherwise 
noted (see Trail Plan map). 

The following six trails will emanate from, or lead to, the Gap: 

1. Wilderness Road or Upper Virginia Road. From the Gap to the new parking area 
near O'Dell House on the Virginia side (no parking in alternative 3), .8 mile, 
proposed restoration; continuing on to Wilderness Road picnic area and campground, 
1.5 miles, proposed new construction of trail, subject to reconstruction of US 58, 
which should follow the trace of the Old Virginia Road as much as possible. 

2. Wilderness Road or Kentucky State Road. From the Gap to the railroad tracks 
on the Kentucky side just north of railroad bridge over newly constructed US 25E, 
.7 mile, proposed minor restoration; continuing onto connector trail, .1 mile, proposed 
new construction that would cross the railroad tracks and Skyland Road at grade; 
connecting to the existing Skyland Road trail, which leads down to the proposed 
parking area at the former site of the Schneider Packing Plant, .3 mile; which, in 
turn, is connected to a trail leading to the Headquarters Visitor Center, .5 mile, 
proposed new construction. For alternative 2, a new .8-mile connector trail would be 
constructed through the woods from the base of the Wilderness Road to the 
proposed parking area where the Skyland Road crosses US 25E. 

3. Lower Virginia Road. From the Gap to the Iron Furnace in the town of Cumberland 
Gap, .5 mile, existing; continuing on through the town of Cumberland Gap to the 

104 




Legend : 
I — 71 

\j^ Existing Trails 



f ^1 

| •••• | Proposed Trails 

Wilderness Road 

Object Lesson Road 

Proposed Parking Areas 



Ss 



C=^ 



Trail Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 



_3fiQ_ 
DSC 



I DEC l 



89 




Legend : 

f Existing Trails 



Proposed Trails 
Wilderness Road 
Object Lesson Road 
Proposed Parking Areas 



-"> 



Trail Plan 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

U.S. Department of the Interior / National Park Service 
380 |4odg fc 



O'Dell House via Colwyn Street and Cumberland Drive, .8 mile, routing to be 
determined in association with town residents, signing and other design elements to 
be consistent with that used within the park, some new construction to be required. 

In addition, the parking area at the Iron Furnace should be redesigned, enlarged 
from 6 spaces to 12 spaces, and relocated on the same site, but farther from the 
Iron Furnace. This would improve the visitor experience at the Iron Furnace by 
removing the intrusive vehicles from the immediate scene, would allow greater 
flexibility in connecting the hiking trail from the Gap to the proposed trail through 
town, and would increase the availability of parking expected to be needed for 
future increased visitation. 

4. Object Lesson Road. From the Gap to the proposed parking area on Kentucky 
side, .6 mile, proposed minor restoration, alternative 2 only; connecting with a 
proposed new trail running through the woods to the base of the Wilderness Road, 
.8 mile; connecting with existing Skyland Road trail, which leads to the alternative 
connector trail for the Wilderness Road, .6 mile, minor upgrade; and also connecting 
with the proposed US 25E trail, which would be an alternate route to the alternative 
Wilderness Road connector, .6 mile, proposed new construction. 

5. Tri-State Peak Trail. From the Gap to Tri-State Peak, .3 mile, existing; continuing 
on and connecting with the existing Cumberland Trail, which ultimately extends 
through Tennessee to Chattanooga. 

6. Harlan Road. From the Gap along a short section of Harlan Road and up to the 
Pinnacle, ultimately connecting with the Ridge Trail, .7 mile; proposed new 
construction; also, from Gap along as much of the trace of the historic Harlan Road 

107 



(ca. 1850) as possible, leading to the Sugar Run picnic area via the overlook on 
Sugar Run Road, and also connecting with the Union College Trail near the 
overlook, 2.5 miles; proposed new construction. 

The above trails would connect the Gap and other heavy visitor use areas in the west end 
of the park to the existing parkwide system, which is held together by the Ridge Trail along 
the backbone of the park. The proposed interconnecting system greatly enhances the 
number of visitor hiking experiences, especially for day hikes of varying length, difficulty, 
and attractions. 

Two loop trails connecting the Gap to proposed new parking areas on each side of the 
Gap would provide the visitor with a variety of experiences, without requiring retracing of 
steps. The loop on the Virginia side of the Gap would expose hikers to the visitor contact 
station at the O'Dell House, Cudjo Caverns, the Gap, the historic Iron Furnace, and man- 
made attractions in the town of Cumberland Gap. In alternative 2, the loop trail on the 
Kentucky side would expose the visitor to much more of a historic wilderness experience, 
where the impact of modern development would not be seen if the visitor were to take the 
proposed connecting trail through the woods from the base of the Wilderness Trail back to 
the proposed parking area. 

Two additional trails should be kept in mind for future connection to the park's trail system. 
The first is the LMU trail, which runs from Little Pinnacle south through the park, and via 
Tiprell Road connecting to the Bauner Field Trail and the Hootowl Hollow Trail, both of 
which run through the southernmost section of the park and beyond. The LMU trail would 
connect to the park's primary trail system via a proposed 1 .5-mile connector that would lead 
from Little Pinnacle down to Gap Creek and Tiprell Road, under the twin bridges of new 



108 



US 25E, into the town of Cumberland Gap, and connecting to the proposed loop trail. LMU 
has expressed an interest in working with the park to make this connector a reality. 

The second trail would connect the loop trail in the town of Cumberland Gap with the 
abandoned Louisville and Nashville Railroad, via the Little Tunnel, which is owned by the 
park. Once the railroad bed leaves the tunnel heading east, it is entirely outside the park 
boundary but provides an excellent view of the Cumberland Mountain and the White Rocks, 
which are within the park boundary. The railroad bed is especially attractive as a bicycle 
trail, and could lead the cyclist to the eastern end of the park and ultimately connect with 
the existing Chadwell Gap and Ewing hiking trails. Herein lies an excellent opportunity to 
develop a major trail of 14 miles from Little Tunnel to Ewing, through cooperative efforts 
with groups such as the Rails to Trails Conservancy. 

Table 4 shows the new or upgraded trails and associated costs as called for in the trail 
plan. 



109 



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111 



DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FOUR-LANING OF US 58 



Present plans call for the four-laning of US 58 from the town of Cumberland Gap to where 
it leaves the park approximately 2 miles to the east. The site, design, and reconstruction 
of the road must be done sensitively so that it minimizes the effect on the trace of the 
historic Virginia Road, and so that any visual intrusion as may be seen from the Pinnacle 
or from the Gap and the Wilderness Road is softened and minimized. This may be 
accomplished by designing the two lanes at different levels to reduce cuts and fills, or 
allowing varying widths of the median strip so that the lanes more closely follow natural 
contours, and by planting trees within the median strip and as close as safety and 
regulations permit to the edges of the lanes. 



112 



ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS AT HEADQUARTERS COMPLEX 



It is recommended that an in-depth study of the administrative functions and facilities at the 
headquarters complex, including the administrative, maintenance, interpretation, and ranger 
divisions, be undertaken to determine the most efficient and cost-effective arrangement of 
offices, shops, storage, and personnel. This should be accomplished after the organization 
chart has been revised to reflect the future operational needs once the Gap has been 
restored. There are a number of factors leading to this recommendation. When all road 
construction is complete and the Federal Highway Administration vacates the building they 
currently occupy near the ranger and maintenance shops, that building will become 
available for park use, such as offices and storage. Some of the other structures in that 
area are currently underused. 

It must be determined what, if any, logistical requirements would be required of the National 
Park Service for future operation of the US 25E tunnels, or if other operational agencies 
would require administrative space and facilities in the headquarters area. Currently, it is 
understood that Kentucky and Tennessee will share the responsibility and costs of operating 
the tunnels. 

The park library and museum collection are currently located in the floodplain, and in an 
area near the ranger facilities that is not easily accessible to the public. It has been 
suggested that the library and museum collection be moved to the Headquarters Visitor 
Center building in place of the park administrative offices, which would be moved to the 
maintenance/ranger area. This will provide easier access for the public to the park's library 
and records, adjacent to the existing visitor center, and will place all park 
administrative/operational functions closer to each other for enhanced efficiency. 

113 



ACCESSIBILITY AT HEADQUARTERS VISITOR CENTER 



Currently, access for the mobility impaired to the upper level of the Headquarters Visitor 
Center is nonexistent. This situation eliminates the opportunity to witness the park's major 
indoor interpretive exhibits and audiovisual presentations for many park visitors. 

Appropriate access for the mobility impaired from the first floor to the upper level should 
be provided. Two alternatives for access to the upper level appear to be feasible. One 
alternative would be a handicap accessible trail, leading outside from the patio on the first 
level to the patio on the upper level. During inclement weather, this alternative would cause 
additional discomfort to those forced to gain access to the second level by going outside 
the building. A second alternative would be to construct an elevator or other type of lifting 
device inside the building. This would require architectural modification. However, it would 
provide access to the upper level under more comfortable conditions that require less 
physical exertion than for the first alternative, and might provide for a more positive visitor 
experience. 



114 



SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVES AND ESTIMATED COSTS 



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ADDITIONAL ANNUAL COSTS 

Associated with the initial development and increased visitor use for the various alternatives 
are the following increases in annual staffing and operational costs. There is no significant 
difference between those for alternatives 1 and 2. Those for alternative 3 are significantly 
less, and there are no additional annual costs for alternative 4. All personnel costs include 
30 percent benefits for full-time employees and 8 percent benefits for seasonal employees. 



ALTERNATIVES 1 AND 2 

Interpretation 
O'Dell House 

1 full-time interpretive specialist 

1 FTE (GS-7) 

2 seasonal interpreters 

1 FTE (GS-4) 

Cudjo Caverns Guided Tours* 
1 full-time interpretive specialist 

1 FTE (GS-4) 
4 seasonal interpreters 

3 FTE (GS-4) 

Maintenance 

1 full-time maintenance worker 
1 FTE (WG-5) 

Ranger 

1 seasonal park ranger 
.5 FTE (GS-5) 



Materials, supplies, equipment, utilities 
One vehicle @ $333/month 



$ 29,000 
17,000 

21,000 
52,000 

23,000 

10,000 

$152,000 

10,000 
4,000 

Total Operational Cost $166,000/yr. 



Subtotal Personnel 



* If tours were to be concession operated, 5 interpreters would be replaced by 1 full-time 
concession specialist, 1 FTE (GS-7 = $29,000, instead of $73,000; a difference of 
$44,000/year.) 



129 



ALTERNATIVE 3 



Maintenance 

1 seasonal maintenance worker 
.5 FTE (WG-5) 
Ranger 

1 seasonal park ranger 
.5 FTE (GS-5) 

Materials, supplies, equipment 



$10,000 

10,000 
2,000 



ALTERNATIVE 4 



Total Operational Costs $22,000/yr. 



Total Operational Costs 



$0/yr. 



130 



UMMARY OF RECOMMENDED STUDIES, PLANS, AND ACTIONS 



STUDY/ACTION 



APPLICABLE ALTERNATIVE 



Archeological study to determine historic vertical 
and horizontal trace of Wilderness Road 

Archeological study to determine historic entrance(s) 
to Cudjo Caverns 

Wayside exhibit plan, interpretive handbook, exhibit 
plans for the Headquarters Visitor Center and the O'Dell 
House Visitor Information Center, and an audiovisual 
treatment plan for the programmatic access to Cudjo 
Caverns - to prepare interpretive developments 

Revegetation plan 

Multidisciplinary study to determine historical 
appearance of the Gap 

Negotiation with utility owners to remove utility 
lines from Gap and vicinity 

Negotiation with Lincoln Memorial University to 

remove store and reservoir from US 25E leading to Gap 

Layout of walking trail through town of Cumberland 
Gap connecting Iron Furnace with O'Dell House 

Design and construction of access for the mobility 
impaired to upper level of the Headquarters Visitor Center 

Feasibility study for a concession-operated passenger van 

Compliance actions (see "Compliance Status" section) 

Cave management plan 

Determination of historical significance of the 
O'Dell House, and possible requirement for a historic 
structure report and nomination to the National 
Register of Historic Places 

Reorganization of administrative and operational 
function and facilities at headquarters complex 

Design for the reconstruction of US 58 to minimize 
adverse visual impact 



1, 2 
1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3 

1, 2, 3, 4 



1, 2, 3, 4 
1, 2, 3, 4 
1, 2, 3, 4 



133 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



IMPACTS COMMON TO EACH ALTERNATIVE 



TOPOGRAPHY/GEOLOGY/SOILS 

The three proposed parking areas would be constructed on previously cleared land. The 
site at the intersection of US 25E and US 58 in Virginia is to be used for storage of fill 
material excavated from the new US 25E alignment, and will require the removal of 
approximately 4 acres of second-growth hardwoods. The site near the Skyland Road bridge 
in Kentucky is also to be used for storage of fill material, and will require the removal of 
approximately 3 acres of second-growth hardwoods. The site at the former Schneider 
Packing Plant off Skyland Road is already cleared, and is currently serving as a 
construction staging area. 

A minimal amount of clearing would be needed to reestablish the historic Wilderness Road 
on the Kentucky side of the Gap. There would be no impact by using the Lower Virginia 
Road for access to the Gap since this trail currently exists. With the removal of vehicular 
traffic, more visitors would be inclined to walk in the area around the Gap. This might result 
in an increase of social trails and trampled vegetation. 

In each alternative, all reasonable attempts would be provided to prevent the intrusion of 
exotic plant species. During the initial revegetation phase, there would be a temporary 
increase in surface erosion. Also, although aesthetically improved with the removal of the 
road surface, the newly recontoured/revegetated area would be clearly visible for a number 
of years. 



137 



HYDROLOGY 

During the restoration/obliteration phase for alternatives 1, 2, and 3, sediment loads for Gap 
Creek and Davis Branch might increase. Stream sediment loading was discussed in a 
supplemental biological assessment, prepared by the National Park Service in December 
1988. Mitigation would be implemented so that only minor increases would occur (see 
"Mitigating Measures" section). 



CUDJO CAVERNS 

Under all four alternatives, there would be a positive impact on Cudjo Caverns. A cave 
management plan would help ensure wise management and better resource protection in 
the future. The removal of trash, graffiti, and algae, and the restoration of damaged natural 
features would increase the aesthetic quality of the cave. Removal of contaminants, i.e. 
trash, algae and asphalt path, would benefit the natural processes of the cave. Guided 
tours under the strict NPS supervision for alternatives 1 and 2 are expected to provide 
more protection for the cave and to reduce current negative impacts of visitation (trash and 
damage to cave features). 



138 



IMPACTS SPECIFIC TO EACH ALTERNATIVE 



ALTERNATIVE 1: COMPLETE RESTORATION 

Implementation of this alternative would restore to a more historically accurate and natural 
condition approximately 11.5 acres, consisting primarily of 9.7 acres of the current US 25E 
alignment, and the saddle of the Gap. The remaining 1.8 acres is the trace of the historic 
Object Lesson Road, which would be obliterated, recontoured, and revegetated. 
Approximately 225,000 cubic yards of excavated material would be removed, and other 
areas would be covered by 175,000 cubic yards of material. This results in an excess of 
50,000 yards to be disposed of off-site (see Alternative 1 - Surface Restoration Plan). It 
has been suggested that the Gap and Wilderness Road restoration project area would be 
an ideal location to deposit excess excavated material from the tunnel and reconstruction 
of US 25E. If alternative 1 were selected, this excess material would not be needed, and 
would have to be disposed of outside the park boundaries at an added expense to the 
government. 

The recontoured area would be covered by topsoil to an average depth of 6 inches and 
revegetated. This revegetation of the road alignment would consist of native grasses, 
shrubs, and trees, and would be designed so that it blends with the adjacent vegetation 20 
years after planting. 

The desired visitor experience of witnessing a scene similar to that ca. 1780-1810, while 
hiking through the Gap, can be realized with this alternative. 

The historic entrance to Cudjo Caverns, if it is found, would be reestablished and the 
existing entrance closed. This would probably result in visitation through a short segment 

139 



of the cave (less than 100 feet) that has not been extensively used. With only the portion 
of cave open to the public that was used ca. 1800 (the lower, or Solomon's Cave), impacts 
associated with visitation to the remainder of the cave system would be further reduced. 



ALTERNATIVE 2: PARTIAL RESTORATION (PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE) 

Implementation of this alternative would restore to a more historically accurate and natural 
condition the saddle of the Gap, the Wilderness Road on the Kentucky side, and the 
horizontal trace of the Wilderness Road on the Virginia side. The US 25E alignment, where 
it veers away from the historic Wilderness Road, would be completely obliterated. The 
entire alignment of US 25E, about 5.8 acres, would be restored to a more natural condition. 
Approximately 20,000 cubic yards of excavated material would be removed, and other areas 
would be covered by 190,000 cubic yards of material. This would result in a net 
requirement of 170,000 cubic yards of fill to be brought in from off-site (see Alternative 2 
- Surface Restoration Plan). It is expected that much, if not all, of this fill can be provided 
by excess excavated material from the tunnel and reconstruction of US 25E, representing 
an estimated cost savings to the government of $2 million. 

The recontoured area would be covered by topsoil to an average depth of 6 inches and 
revegetated. This revegetation of the road alignment would consist of native grasses, 
shrubs, and trees, and would be designed so that it blends with the adjacent vegetation 20 
years after planting. The historic Object Lesson Road, consisting of about 1.8 acres, would 
be cleared of shrub and tree vegetation (primarily Virginia Pine saplings less than 8 feet 
in height), and existing remaining grasses would remain. 

As in alternative 1 , the desired visitor experience of witnessing a scene similar to that ca. 
1780-1810, while hiking through the Gap, can be realized. In addition, of all alternatives, 

140 



with the clearing of the Object Lesson Road and construction of a new parking area on the 
Kentucky side near the Object Lesson Road, this alternative offers the most variety for 
hikers who wish to experience the historical wilderness setting. 



ALTERNATIVE 3: MINIMAL RESTORATION 

Implementation of this alternative would remove the asphalt and guardrails from the US 25E 
alignment, scarify the road bed, cover the road surface with approximately 6 inches of 
topsoil, and seed with native grasses. A total of 43,000 cubic yards of fill would be required 
for the Gap for this alternative. It is expected that all of this fill could be provided by excess 
excavated material from the tunnel and reconstruction of US 25E. Although some effort 
would be made to control exotic plant species such as kudzu, without an active exotic plant 
eradication program, invasion by exotic species could replace all habitat that would normally 
be available to native species. 

The aesthetic quality of the area, while perhaps increased from current conditions, would 
be less than that of alternatives 1 and 2. The desired visitor experience of witnessing a 
scene at the Gap similar to that ca. 1780-1810 can be accomplished with this alternative, 
but only after a much longer period of time, because trees and shrubs would not be 
planted. Similarly, the desired experience of witnessing the historic scene along the Virginia 
approach to the Gap would be met to a lesser extent than in alternative 1 or 2. 

Cudjo Caverns would not be open to public use. This would eliminate a very popular tourist 
attraction, but would afford the greatest protection to the resources of the cave. Cave 
processes would function with relatively little disturbance. 



141 



ALTERNATIVE 4: NO RESTORATION 

Implementation of this alternative would be contrary to the intent of legislation authorizing 
the relocation of US 25E so that the Gap could be restored. The pavement of US 25E 
would remain an intrusion on the prime historic resource for which the national historical 
park was named - the Gap itself. The pavement would also be an intrusion on the 
historical appearance of the Wilderness Road. The aesthetic appearance of the area, the 
historical accuracy of the setting, and the visitor experience of hiking to the Gap on a 
paved highway would be the least desirable of the four alternatives. As in alternative 3, the 
eventual invasion by exotic plants such as kudzu would be expected. Also as in alternative 
3, the closing of Cudjo Caverns would eliminate a very popular tourist attraction, but would 
afford the greatest protection to the cave resources and would allow cave processes to 
function with relatively little disturbance. 

Approximately 43,000 more cubic yards of fill from the current US 25E relocation project 
would have to be disposed of outside the park in this alternative, compared to alternatives 
1 , 2, and 3. This represents an additional estimated cost to the government of $470,000. 



142 



MITIGATING MEASURES 



The following mitigating measures are stipulated in the supplement to the biological 
assessment, dated January 1989, for the federally threatened blacksided dace in Davis 
Branch. 

• A riparian/vegetation/canopy buffer of at least 100 feet would be maintained along the 
streambank. 

• A silt fence would be installed before rehabilitation work begins. 

• No material of acidic nature would be used in any fill area. 

• The rehabilitated road, with topsoil added, would be revegetated immediately upon 
completion of each section. 

• Revegetation would use species native to the Cumberland Mountain area. 

• Seeding would also entail hydro-mulching as a means of keeping topsoil and seeds in 
place (seeding may take the form of commercial matting, hydro-seeding, or 
hand/mechanical seeding). 

• No nonbiodegradable vegetation matting would be used. 

• Consideration should be given to no construction during the dace spawning season: April 
through June (this is also the rainy season and could add high amounts of silt to the 
stream). 

143 



Also, security gates placed on the entrance and exit to Cudjo Caverns should allow bats 
and other cave-dwelling creatures to pass through. 



144 



COMPLIANCE STATUS 



CULTURAL RESOURCES 

The National Park Service's Southeast Regional Office is consulting with the state historic 
preservation officers of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, and with the Advisory Council 
on Historic Preservation under the Programmatic Memorandum of Agreement among the 
National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation, and the National Park Service. These consultations should result in a 
memorandum of agreement on the Development Concept Plan/Interpretive Prospectus. 
Actions outlined in that plan may then proceed upon completion of an "Assessment of 
Effect" (XXX) form documenting project effects and outlining any mitigation measures 
required. 

The National Park Service will undertake archeological survey and evaluation measures 
wherever ground-disturbing activities are necessitated by the plan. Based on the results of 
the surveys, changes in proposed actions may be required to avoid damaging cultural 
resources. 

Alternatives 1 and 2 call for the adaptation of the O'Dell House for use as a visitor 
information center. The O'Dell House was constructed in 1925; however, its historical 
significance has not yet been determined. Prior to altering the structure for adaptive use as 
a visitor information center, its historical significance will be assessed. If found not to be 
historically or architecturally significant, no further compliance with section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, will be required. If found to be historically 
significant, a historic structures report will be prepared, and the house will be nominated 



145 



for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Proposed modifications to the 
building would then be addressed in a section 106 case report. 



NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT OF 1969 

The draft Restoration of Cumberland Gap and Wilderness Road Development Concept 
Plan/Interpretive Prospectus/Environmental Assessment provides disclosure of the planning 
and decision-making process and potential environmental consequences of alternatives, as 
required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The draft document will be available for 
public review. Agency and public comments will then be considered. The draft plan and 
environmental analysis will be reviewed in light of the comments, and a final development 
concept plan will be published. 



ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973 

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all federal agencies to use their authorities 
in furtherance of the purposes of the act by carrying out programs for the conservation of 
endangered or threatened species. Federal agencies are required to consult with the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the 
agency does not jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or critical habitat. 

Informal consultation under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act was initiated with the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the park's 
Master Plan in November 1977. In March 1980 the National Park Service, in continuing 
section 7 consultation, completed a biological assessment for the relocation of US 25E and 
restoration of the historic Wilderness Road at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. On 

146 



May 13, 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responded with a concurrence of the 
NPS "no effect" on the red-cockaded woodpecker, Indiana bat, and gray bat. In December 
1988 the National Park Service continued section 7 consultation with a supplemental 
biological assessment because of the need to address three critical changes concerning 
the project. In January 1989 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service again responded with a 
concurrence of the NPS "no effect" on the Indiana bat, gray bat, and blacksided dace. 
The 1988 biological assessment and this draft Development Concept Plan/Environmental 
Assessment contain mitigating measures for the project that will be used for protection of 
the listed species. 



EXECUTIVE ORDER 11988 ("FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT') AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 
11990 ("PROTECTION OF WETLANDS") 

Executive orders 11988 ("Floodplain Management") and 11990 ("Protection of Wetlands") 
direct federal agencies to enhance floodplain and wetland values, to avoid development in 
floodplains and wetlands whenever there is a practicable alternative, and to avoid to the 
extent possible adverse impacts associated with the occupancy or modification of floodplains 
and wetlands. 

Alternatives 1, 2, and 3 call for some type of restoration of US 25E that does pass through 
the floodplain of Davis Branch. Floodplain and wetland compliance as required by the 
above-mentioned executive orders has been completed in conjunction with the 1980 
Environmental Impact Statement on the realignment of US 25E. Nothing in this plan 
changes the accomplished compliance procedures in the 1980 EIS. 



147 



None of the actions in any of the alternatives are expected to result in significant long- 
term or short-term adverse effects on wetlands. Rather, wetland values will be interpreted 
to further the public's appreciation of wetland communities. 



FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT 

New facility (parking area) construction and park operations will have little effect on water 
quality. NPS fill operations will comply with the requirements of section 404 of the Federal 
Water Pollution Control Act and other applicable federal and state regulations. Parking 
areas and other developed sites will be designed to allow storm water to percolate into 
the soil rather than run off directly into adjacent wetlands, thus helping to protect water 
quality of streams. Existing or future sewage treatment or solid waste disposal systems 
will continue to comply with federal and state regulations to avoid pollution of adjacent 
surface or groundwater resources. 



COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY MEMORANDUM ON PRIME OR UNIQUE 
FARMLAND SOILS 

A memorandum dated August 11, 1980, from the Council on Environmental Quality requires 
federal agencies to assess the effects of their actions on soils classified by the Soil 
Conservation Service as prime or unique farmlands. The Soil Conservation Service's state 
soil scientist reports that no such soils occur within the project area; consequently, there 
will be no impact. 



148 



OTHER CONSIDERATIONS 

The project area lies within the boundaries of three states - Virginia, Tennessee, and 
Kentucky. It will be imperative that the National Park Service review all applicable state 
regulations in order to pursue permit requirements for each state. 

In May 1989 the National Park Service contacted all three states and requested information 
concerning state-listed threatened or endangered species or species of special concern. The 
responses are as follows: 

Virginia - stated that Cudjo Caverns is a unique natural community and that several rare 
species exist (those species are listed in the "Description of the Environment" section 
under the natural resources); requested that special care be taken to protect the 
hydrology of the cave. 

Tennessee - no response. 

Kentucky - stated that the species listed below have been identified in the area (T = 
Threatened, E = Endangered, S = Species of Special Concern, N = Not Listed, and LT 
= Listed Threatened). 



Scientific Name 

Amianthium muscaetoxicum 
Calamagrostis proteri 
Castanea pumlia 
Con vail aha montana 
Helianthus atrorubens 
Lathyrus venosus 
Philadelphus hirsutus 
Phoxinus cumberlandensis 
Sorex cinereus 



Common Name 


State 


Federal 


Fly poison 


T 


N 


Porter's reed grass 


E 


N 


Chinquapin 


E 


N 


American lily of the valley 


E 


N 


Sunflower 


E 


N 


Bushy vetch 


S 


N 


Mock orange 


E 


N 


Blacksided dace 


E 


LT 


Common shrew 


S 


N 



149 



APPENDIX/BIBLIOGRAPHY/PLANNING TEAM/RESPONSE FORM 



APPENDIX: PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT 



On Tuesday evening, March 14, 1989, the planning team conducted a public meeting in the visitor 
center at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Approximately 20 people from the nearby 
communities attended. After a short introduction by the superintendent, team captain, and historians, 
the issues to be addressed were posted to guide and direct comments. Several in the audience 
commented on not excluding historical events at the Gap that fall outside the period of restoration, 
1780-1810. In particular, they noted the Civil War and transportation history before and after 1800. 

Other attenders commented on the need for keeping Cudjo Caverns open and access provided to 
it, especially as related to the local economy. Particular comments underscored proper lighting of the 
cave and safety of cave visitors. 

Residents of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, expressed concern about safeguarding the water system 
from Cudjo Caverns, replacement of the concrete reservoir, water treatment, and possible increased 
cost of water to the community. 

Many noted the important role tourism plays in the economic base of the area. Access to the Gap, 
the Pinnacle, Cudjo Caverns, and camping facilities was brought up in conjunction with eliminating 
present US 25E through the Gap. Suggestions expressed were access by wagons, access by a chair 
lift, trail signs, improved parking, a visitor information center in Tennessee, and access for the 
elderly. 

Other comments included the expansion of the present fitness trail, the connection of existing trails, 
possible trails to the picnic and camping areas of Sugar Run and Wilderness Road, and the use of 
the abandoned railroad bed through Little Tunnel as a hiking trail in Tennessee and Virginia. A 
desire for water and electrical hookups at the Wilderness Road Campground was also stated. 



153 



Several expressed concern about the new highway alignment girdling Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, 
thus constricting expansion. 

All comments and concerns brought up at the meeting were considered by the planning team during 
the creation of this Development Concept Plan. 

A public response form is provided in the back of this document to make it convenient for people 
to comment on the alternatives for restoring Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road, and on 
associated proposals for interpretation, visitor use, and development. Comments should be sent to 
the park superintendent within 30 days of receipt of this document. 



154 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

BEATTY, STEVEN M. 

1 978 Why Not Walk?: A Trail Guide to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Eastern National 
Park and Monument Association. 

BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN, EDITOR 

1872 Picturesque America or The Land We Live In. Vol. 1. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 

CLARK, THOMAS D. 

1960 A History of Kentucky. Lexington, KY: The John Bradford Press. 

FENNEMAN, NEVIN M. 

1938 Physiography of Eastern United States. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

1989 "Part IV, Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, 50 CFR, Part 17, Endangered 
and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, Animal Notice of Review." Federal Register. Friday, 
January 6, 12989. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 

HAMMON, NEAL 0. 

1970 "Early Roads Into Kentucky," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Vol. 68, no. 2. 

HANNA, CHARLES A. 

1972 The Wilderness Trail. Vol. 2. New York: AMS Press, reprint of 1903 edition. 

HINKLE, CHARLES ROSS 

1975 "A Preliminary Study of the Flora and Vegetation of Cumberland Gap National Historical 
Park, Middlesboro, Kentucky." Unpublished dissertation, University of Tennessee. 

HOLSINGER, JOHN R. 

1975 "Description of Virginia Caves." Virginia Division of Mineral Resources. Bulletin #81, pp. 128- 
9. Charlottesville, Virginia. 

HOLSINGER, JOHN R., AND DAVID C. CULVER 

1988 "The Invertebrate Cave Fauna of Virginia and a Part of Eastern Tennessee: Zoogeography 
and Ecology." Brimleyana, The Journal of North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences. 
No. 14, June 1988. 

JAKLE, JOHN A. 

1977 Images of the Ohio Valley, A Historical Geography of Travel, 1740 to 1860. New York: 
Oxford University Press. 

JOHNSON, J. STODDARD 

1898 First Explorations of Kentucky. Filson Club Publication No. 13. Louisville, KY: John P. 
Morton and Company. 

KINCAID, ROBERT L 

1955 The Wilderness Road. Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University Press. 

1973 The Wilderness Road. Fourth Edition. Middlesboro, KY. 

LANE, JAMES ALLEN 

1886 "Through Cumberland Gap on Horseback." Harpers New Monthly Magazine. LXXII.50-66. 

LUCKETT, WILLIAM M. 

1964 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Reprint from Tennessee Historical Quarterly. Vol. 
23, no. 4. 



155 



MYER, WILLIAM E. 

1928 "Indian Trails of the Southeast." 42nd Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 

1957 "Park Story and Statement of Significance, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park," by 
Frank B. Sarles. 

1978 Master Plan, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. 

1 986 Statement for Management, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. 

1987a "History of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park," by Edward E. Tinney. Washington, 
D.C. 

1987b Location of the Wilderness Road at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, by Jere L. 
Krakow. Denver, CO: Denver Service Center. 

1988 Statement for Interpretation, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. 

PUSEY, WILLIAM A. 

1921 The Wilderness Road to Kentucky, Its Location and Features. New York: George H. Doran 
Company. 

RAITZ, KARL B. AND RICHARD ULACK WITH THOMAS R. LEINBACH 

1984 Appalachia: A Regional Geography. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. 

SMALLEY, GLENDON W. 

1984 Classification and Evaluation of Forest Sites in Cumberland Mountain. Southern Forest 
Experiment Station, General Technical Report SO-50. 

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

1953 So/7 Survey of Lee County Virginia, by E.F. Henry et al. Series 1939, No. 17. 

1989 So/7 Survey of Harlan County, Kentucky, by E.F. Henry, et al. Preliminary report. 

SUPPIGER, JOSEPH E. 

1977 Phoenix of the Mountains: The Story of Lincoln Memorial University. Harrogate, TN: Lincoln 
Memorial University Press. 

VERHOEFF, MARY 

1911 The Kentucky Mountains Transportation and Commerce 1750-1911: A Study in the 
Economic History of a Coal Field. Filson Club Publication No. 26. Louisville, KY: John P. 
Morton Company. 

WILSON, CHARLES W. AND LOUIS DE VORSEY 

1975 "Preliminary Research Report: Wilderness Road - Cumberland Gap Historical Geography 
Research Project." 



156 



PLANNING TEAM 



DENVER SERVICE CENTER 

Jeffrey Heywood, Team Captain/Landscape Architect 

Mike Bilecki, Natural Resources Specialist 

Jeff Garrett, Landscape Architect 

Chip Jenkins, Natural Resources Specialist 

Jere Krakow, Historian 



CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 

Charles Vial, Superintendent (and staff) 

HARPERS FERRY CENTER 

Tom White, Interpretive Planner 

SOUTHEAST REGIONAL OFFICE 

John Fischer, Park Planner 

CONSULTANTS 

William Beavers, Revegetation Specialist, DSC 

Ray Borras, Chief, Branch of Estimates, DSC 

Craig Cellar, Cultural Resources Specialist, DSC 

Donald D. Graff, Highway Engineer, Federal Highway Administration 

George Gregory, Geologist, Mammoth Cave National Park 

Robert Schreffler, Project Manager, DSC 

Karen Vaage, Landscape Architect, DSC 

Richard Wallace, Cave Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee 



157 



PUBLIC COMMENTS RESPONSE FORM 



This tear-out public response form is provided to make it convenient for you to comment 
on the alternatives for restoring Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Road, and on 
associated proposals for interpretation, visitor use, and development. The form is self- 
addressed and postpaid. Please return your comments within 30 days of receipt of this 
document. We welcome your thoughts and encourage your continued interest in the future 
of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. 



edei 



P|0» 



Superintendent 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

P.O. Box 840 

Middlesboro, Kentucky 40965 



OFFICIAL BUSINESS 
PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE, $300 



■ 



NO POSTAGE 

NECESSARY 

IF MAILED 

IN THE 

UNITED STATES 



BUSINESS REPLY MAIL 

FIRST CLASS Permit No 12651 WASHINGTON. O C 



POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY ADORESSEE 




Superintendent 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 

P.O. Box 840 

Middlesboro, Kentucky 40965 











As the nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has basic responsibility 
for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural and cultural resources. This includes 
fostering wise use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the 
environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the 
enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The department assesses our energy and mineral 
resources and works to ensure that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The 
department also promotes the goals of the Take Pride in America campaign by encouraging 
stewardship and citizen responsibility for the public lands and promoting citizen participation in their 
care. The department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities 
and for people who live in island territories under U.S. administration. 



Publication services were provided by the graphics and editorial staffs of the Denver Service Center. 
NPS D- 1989